My Eternal “Wish”: Next Rebirth as a SC/ST/OBC in India

First of all I wish to make clear that, as a person, I am indifferent to the caste system we have in India and i believe in equality of the entire humanity. Honestly, I don’t support the idea of superiority and inferiority among religions, castes and creed. I don’t think that SC/ST/OBC are in any way lesser than others. They are good humans with an equal potential just like anyone else. They have equal chances for success and have a high respect for, in my mind. This post is to vent my agony and anger ONLY ON the current reservation based educational system in India and I have tried to expose my views on the whole “Reservation based on Caste” issue that has been lingering around, ever since I can imagine. Any views mentioned in this post here are purely personal and I have tried to be as objective as possible in voicing my opinions. I sincerely apologize if this causes any kind of ill-feelings in your mind.  Though there might be many advantages arising due to the reservation system, my intention in this post is to throw some light on my the negative sides of the reservations (which many of you might already be knowing) from my perspective. Hence you should expect this post to be purely critical to the system.

The point what i want to make clear is: With the kind of inequalities that is rampant in our society, there should be reservation for certain section of people, but caste should never be the criterion. (Thanks Anoop)

Before i start the post, I would like to summarize some “random numbers” that i was able to get from Central Counselling Board – Institute Wise Allotment List 2008. Let me give you the first and last ranks, with their quotas in some of the premier institutes in India (excluding IITs as I don’t have the statistics with me and IIIT Hyderabad as there is NO reservation whatsoever in the admissions to that university).

University,
Branch

First AIR
Admitted
(Quota)

Last AIR
Admitted
(Quota)

Last AIR
Admitted (OP)

NIT Trichy, ECE 219 (OP) 40808 (ST) 3807
NIT Trichy, CSE 745 (OP) 43063 (ST) 7158
NIT Surathkal, ECE 79 (OP)
44254 (ST) 4461
NIT Surathkal, CSE 756 (OP) 41886 (ST) 6848
NIT Warangal, ECE 322 (OP) 49985 (ST)
2169
NIT Warangal, CSE 159 (OP) 49015 (ST) 2854
NIT Calicut,ECE 373 (OP) 48814 (ST) 6147
NIT Calicut,CSE 2223 (OP) 43441(SC) 10134

For the uninformed international readers of my blog, AIR – All India Rank in All India Engineering Entrance Examination 2008; ECE – Electronics and Communications Engineering; CSE – Computer Science and Engineering; OP – Open Merit Admissions (100% based on AIR); SC– Scheduled Caste; ST – Scheduled Tribe; OBC – Other Backward Castes. NIT – National Institute of Technologies are the best institutes in India after IITs and IIIT Hyderabad. ECE and CSE are two of the most sought after fields of study in the engineering department for us. Hence for making the table short and sweet, I have not considered all but two of the many fields of study.

If you observe the table, especially the last two columns you can see what i am talking about. The last column stands for the rank of the student who got into that particular university/branch purely based on his rank (read hard work and a li’l bit of luck). The second last column stands for the rank of the student admitted last into the corresponding university/branch based much more on his caste than his efforts.

You can observe the ridiculous pattern. For example, lets take the case of NIT Warangal ECE (the worst case scenario among all the cases). Among the regular students, the last rank admitted in OP is 2169. It means that any student whose rank was 2170 or above (I can safely say that an All India Rank (AIR) <10000)is pretty good given that about half a million students write the same centralized exam) was not in a position to get into this university, branch.  In the place where none of the relatively more intelligent students above ranks 2170 – 10000 got into the college (and i am sure that many of them would have applied for it, unsuccessfully) when another student (with due respect to his intelligence) with rank 49 985 got into the SAME coveted seat. So its like this, there are two students for the seat, one with AIR = 2170 and other with AIR 49 985. When both of them applied to the same seat, the latter got in (thanks to his caste) whereas spite of being a much more deserving student, the former failed to get it (due to his “misfortune” in not being in the “elite” SC/ST/OBC). All his considerable hard work he had put in over the last two years of study, could not secure him his desired seat where as someone who rank is 20 times lower, was able to get it, JUST ON ACCOUNT OF HIS “LOW” caste. (Please read “” as sarcasms).

India has about 50% seats in ALL THE National Level, Government Supported Institutes (Including IITs). It means that if you are born in the privileged group of SC/ST/OBC. Oh what a life it would be.. You dont have to study as much as the unprivileged OP students, you dont have to work that hard. Still with much minimal efforts in comparison, you can still get into any decent seat you would like to get into, no matter how ridiculous your rank is.  Due to the important of the sensitive issue on Caste based reservation System in India, Wikipedia has dedicated some considerable space for a long article which can be found here. Interested may follow the link to read more on the so called “pros and cons”.

The quality of the output from all the premier institutes in India has been rocketing downwards due to this system. You can refer to what i am saying based on the Job offers a majority of the students get.

Lemme put in my two cents at this point, WHY.. i mean WHY cant they put all these reservations and of the likes in Elementary and Middle schools. I dont oppose that since there are millions of schools in India, the case of a deserving student not getting education can be ruled out. Let all indians, regardless of their caste study together, and be in a position where they can compete with each other in the All India Entrance Examinations. Let them get the rank they deserve in that exam, and get into their dream seats with no differentiation between their ethnic background. Instead, the government targets the BEST UNIVERSTIES india to put these students in and many of them fail to cope up due to unstable foundation in their schooling.

To top it all, now that the student reservation has been a “unprecedented success”, Mr. Arjun Singh had a whim to “try out” 50% faculty reservation in IITs. Wow!! Thats an icing on the already “delicious” cake which he has made. When i say he, I dont mean to target Mr. Arjun Singh alone. I mean the entire force behind this venture of “upliftment of Indians”.

If only i was born into this “privileged section” of the society and i mean the elite group of SC/ST/OBC, my life would have been much easier, thanks to the Indian Government.. Due to the reasons stated above ,its my “wish” that I be born into that section of society where dreams come true as easily as making water from ice.

But alas!!!! I can only wish….. right?

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