I recently came across an article by Sujatha Rao, former Secretary of Ministry of Health & Family which claimed that the government should take strict action against the selling of medical seats via different monetary channels. A similar article was a TOI headline a few months back that detested the NRI quota being offered by many Private medical colleges. Both the articles ridiculed the idea of ‘under qualified’ doctors in India. Although it is fair to claim that a student should only be given a college on the basis of merit, I could not digest the fact that the media turned a blind eye on the bigger issue of Reservation. At least NRI quota and selling of seats is not detrimental to the economy!
Today a member of a Scheduled Caste (SC) can score half the marks of a general student in IIT and still get admission. AIIMS has only 51 present of its seats for the general category; and lately it has come to notice that if an SC student sits for CAT and does not mark a single answer (55 percentile), he’d get a call from IIM Indore. So we make brilliant engineers, doctors and managers!!! These people not only face hatred from the general crowd (they weren’t given admission on a silver platter) but find it very difficult to cope with the standard of education as well. Many IIT professors have expressed their concern regarding the same and some even claim that the quality and name of their prestigious Institute is being diluted.
One shall argue that due to the social and economic structure of our society, it is imperative for the backward classes to receive such measures; that these sections are oppressed and cannot survive without external support. I feel that to alleviate the economic conditions, fee waivers should be given instead of spoon feeding, which our nation seems to believe in very strongly, lately (NREGA). We can subsidise education right from the start. Coming to the social factors, I feel it is more important to educate the oppressed class of their rights. If there is disparity they need to bring it to the administration’s notice, no matter what level the problem is. No temple can stop a person from entering it, and no head can reject a candidate on the basis of his surname; if every SC, ST and OBC knows and believes that, reservation shall soon be a thing of past. We cannot keep on finding temporary solutions to grave problems.
I’d end with what I started. I hope the Indian media stops playing it safe and targeting the rich for news and really addresses such important issues so that we can move towards a more stable and equal India.