Paradox Paradise

Would you still call it nonsense, if sense exchanges its meaning with nonsense?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Me too have some reservations…

Remember the street plays titled pro-reservation and anti-reservation strikes that used to run full house (and empty classrooms) all over my country? I’m not trying to remember the similar, and much more dramatic one that was staged fifteen years back. I’m asking about the recent one. The Medicos stir. Now you remember.

Me too had forgotten about it. I don’t know any of those protests are still on. It’s media that controls collective public memory. And it is another newspaper report unintentionally brightened up my memory of medical students in their not-so-white housecoats holding candles in an early night protest. This one came up yesterday, about thousands of engineering seats in colleges in Karnataka being left unfilled.

I am not yet able to figure out the present admission procedures in Karnataka. Those are defined and controlled by two or more governing bodies, and few more in the case of institutes controlled by autonomous boards. This particular report gives me the figures about the engineering colleges that have to follow CET procedures for admissions. I had failed almost all my mathematics papers before successfully dropping out the college. But I had cleared my statistics paper. Statistics is fun for people with an average intelligent quotient. Here’s a sample. In the last academic year there were more than 9,000 vacancies in these engineering that remained vacant. This year it is about 3,200. That is after cutting the offered seats by more than 3000. In private unaided colleges, 40% of the seats are ‘reserved’ under management quota, which are duly filled (sold?) every year. 40% are under concessional-fee, and the rest 20% are under higher-fee scheme. The concession fee is Rs. 15,000 and higher-fee is around Rs. 80,000. And these fees are almost half or lesser compared to those for medical studies. The fees for last year’s admissions were higher. Now, you have all the figures, and no way to know the situation is a better one or not! If you score brilliantly in the entrance test, you will rightly be entitled to have the option: pay it, or leave it. I would like to know the number of students who are eligible for admissions, but are not. Statistics sometimes is really mean.

Exactly here is where I want to bring in the flashback: the Medicos Stir. Was it only me who wondered why the anti-reservation agitation was called the Medicos Stir, when the proposed reservations are applicable to all fields of higher education? That was because most of the organised protesters were from medical institutes. The reason is obvious; it is in medical studies the reservations will make the most impact. Is there a ‘healthcare gene’ in uppercast individuals, similar to the American discovery of ‘starvation gene’ in Asians and Africans? It is something only our medical professionals can answer.

The reservation bill is of course motivated by political ambitions. So are the protests against it. The later enabled a panwala to wear a medical professional's attire before burning himself up with it. It looks like a classic example of natural double negation to me. Those who shout for equality surely know some are more equal than others. If one has to worry about the right of learning lost by reservations, he or she has to be that rich. And the reservations are applicable only for the admissions, not the marks one should secure to pass. In our educational system you can pass most of the exams by answering up to 60% questions wrong. To add to that, we have a very healthy unemployment percentage that would ensure only the best can actually use their academic qualifications. Then, what more brain damage reservations could possibly make?

Labels: , , , , , ,


At Sat Jul 08, 07:01:00 am, Blogger camelpost said...

Mera Bharat Mahan
Hindustan Times 8th July news carries the following:
While there have been recent cases of students scoring 90 per cent and not getting into colleges of their choice, two All India Engineering Entrance Examination 2006 candidates who scored six on 100 have been selected for admission in the engineering course of Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra.

Rajesh Kisku of West Bengal and Ashok Jambhule of Maharashtra (names changed) will study civil engineering and biotechnology respectively, thanks to the Central Counselling Board (CCB) of the AIEEE. Both belong to the Scheduled Tribe category. They aren't the only ones to benefit from reservation. Others with scores of 7, 10, 11 and 13 will also pursue engineering in this premier institution.

They've got it made for now but there are many who aren't happy about it. "It is correct. These are facts," says BIT V-C Prof S.K. Mukherjee, blaming it on the CBSE norms. All-India seats are distributed state-wise and the same pattern is adopted while distributing SC/ST category seats. If a reserved category candidate with less marks opts for BIT in the CCB, he gets admission.

"Such situations are a matter of concern. There should be a minimum cut-off mark," Prof Mukherjee says. On the pattern of the IITs, he says, marks/rank obtained by a candidate in a competitive exam must be linked with marks obtained in a conventional exam.

What's more, things could get worse. "Reserved category candidates with lesser marks may get admission during the second round of counselling, " the V-C says. "Some 50 reserved category seats are still vacant. And chances are that students who scored 1 or 2 may be considered for admission," says a BIT professor.

That means candidates who scored 270 would come last in the list of general category candidates granted admission. "It's not fair," says Samrendra, one such candidate. Admission over, the academically weak students find it hard to cope, says a professor of civil engineering.

At Mon Jul 10, 05:35:00 pm, Blogger Jubin George said...

camelpost: Thank you very much for visiting, reading and responding to my post.

The point I was trying to make was, both pro and anti-reservation hooplas are politically motivated and cannot improve our social system or damage the ‘future of India’, as claimed or worried by the parties involved.

Our aptitude tests, curriculum, training facilities, and course evaluation methods are better than ideal and all they demand is talent. In private unaided medical colleges (There are a hand few government medical colleges, but no private aided ones that come under CET in Karnataka), SC&ST category students are given huge fee concessions, if their annual household income is less than Rs. 1 lakh. It’s only Rs. 1,23,500 per year for them. Yes, it’s one lakh twenty three thousand and five hundred only, when it’s Rs. 2,97,500 for others! And behold, the candidate has to pay only 40% of the amount (just Rs. 49,400), the rest will be paid to the management by the government. I know about the easily available educational loans too. If a bank refuses the loan, all you have to do is to file a case against the multi-billion bank. But it’s only legal for the bank to refuse the loan if the admission to the course is not assured, and it’s not assured until one pays the fees for the year.

Me too is aware of the accepted fact that the underprivileged can survive better in very bad living conditions. It would be a very sad thing if an upper class person loses his/her right to have higher education, and end up doing a menial job for a living, while it’s only ‘natural’ for one from the lower classes. There’s no need to be ashamed of being an upper class individual, our mothers took real pains for us to be born in the right family. Anyway, the right of equal opportunities is applicable only after 10+2. This system is run by taxpayers’ money and it’s their responsibility to make sure our country have a brilliant future. And now, taxpayers are the minority high-income group who pay Income Tax, not the ones who don’t earn enough and pay only indirect taxes on each and everything.

I can’t help, but wonder what good is our education! One need no real education to read a newspaper article, basic literacy will do. (And next time when you want me to read one, please send me the link, instead of copy-pasting the entire article. It would be more convenient for both of us.)

At Thu Jul 13, 08:11:00 am, Blogger camelpost said...

Thanks for educating me. Please note that many times links have been delinked in websites with message this page not found. I thought I should not deprive a serious person like you the contents. Thanks for the suggestion

At Thu Jul 13, 10:58:00 pm, Blogger Jubin George said...

dear camel post,
That suggestion was not to educate you, and i'm sorry if that one sentence have hurt you more than the many before it. Then, it was only a suggestion.

Thank you for coming back and reading it. (I assume, you read from the top)

At Fri Feb 02, 11:55:00 am, Blogger Abhieshek said...

again that assertive style of writing and i liked it again:-), yet again...
most blogs are concerned about being politically correct and here is one that gives a damn to it. it brings delight to the readers...to me, at least.
one suggestion (u might be saying---everybody suggests!!)anyway, turn off this comment moderation. u might get some spam comment but it will also ensure some bold comments. just a suggestion though.

At Fri Feb 02, 11:57:00 am, Blogger Abhieshek said...

and one more thing---there are lies, damned lies and then there is statistics...believe stats on ur own peril!!

At Fri Feb 02, 12:32:00 pm, Blogger Jubin George said...

Thank you for the encouraging words. They are still in need :)

And yes, you are absolutely right about stats. The trick is ignoring the percentages, and looking up the numbers. Watching carefully, who tells you the numbers.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home