Reservation issue: Missing the big picture?

I picked up some statistics when reading up on the reservation issue around the web and in the newspapers. Have a look:

"By the 12th standard, the drop out rate reaches an astounding 94 percent. Of those who finally graduate out of college, only around 15 percent (or, one percent of the those who enter grade one) are employable, leading to a severe shortage of qualified college graduates."

" While 73.24% Class X SC students called it quits in 2003-04, the figures for STs was even worse at 79.25%. Revealed in the latest educational statistics released by the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development, the pattern highlights failure of the government to ensure minimum quality of education to dalits after nearly a decade-and-half of quota-raaj. "

"… that many of the quotas reserved for Scheduled Castes and Tribes go unfilled because the schools they attend are so bad that the dropout rate before high school is more than 70 per cent."

And then, look at what is in our constitution:

Constitution of India, Directive Principles of State Policy, Article 45 (p.3)

"The State shall endeavor to provide within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years."

Moreover, In 1997, the 83rd amendment was introduced into Parliament to establish basic education as a fundamental right guaranteed by the State. "The proposed 83rd Constitutional Amendment Bill, 1997, guarantees the right to free and compulsory education for children from 6-14 years of age."

So, here is the big picture. Out of 100 that start, only 6 students make it past Class 12. Assuming that 30% of these go on to graduate, the graduation rate will be 2%. Let us assume that half of the 12th class pass outs will be interested in studying further. Then, it means that all this reservation noise is nothing but fight amongst the 3% of people who are fit and lucky enough to feel the need for higher and professional education.

Putting things in perspective, this whole issue is not much more than infighting within the creamy layer – 3% of students who have had the fortune of getting real literacy. We have all conveniently forgotten about the core issue here, which is – we have done a very bad job of providing primary education to our population.

And no political party wants to take up the 83rd amendment. No set of college students will do hunger strikes to ensure primary education for all.

It is a job we all have conveniently left to NGOs like Asha !

PS: Some References. Do read the Ashanet PROBE one .

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3 Responses

  1. as-94783-sa

    Nice blog.. I ll come back :]

  2. […] you found this analogy a stretch, let me refer you back to some stats I deduced last year: Out of 100 that start, only 6 students make it past Class 12. Assuming that 30% of these go on to […]

  3. 100% reservation in some professions instead of 10-20-30% in all: I am an NRI, so I am not affected by any decision about reservation in India. I am, however, very surprised that this issue has been going on for years. We have so many intelligent people in this country, then why aren’t we thinking Out Of The Box solutions. The issue of reservation is complex and it will not have a simple solution. Also, It is not going to go away so easily.
    I agree with the need for reservation for under privileged sections of the society. At the same time it is also true, that replacing deserving and talented candidates with one how need support will not benefit the society. It can, in fact, be very counter productive. Good examples for this is sports people, doctors, engineers, scientists, teachers, pilots etc. However we can certainly have public service ( up to certain entry level), lawyers, drivers, politicians and some other jobs that can be easily done by candidates from reserved quota. Choose some low risk professions and have 100% reservations in them instead of having 10,20,30% reservations in all professions, including some critical professions. Win -Win situation for all… what do you say ?

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