Abhijith, hailing from a middle class family on successfully cracking the competitive entrance examination got into a Government Medical College.His parents,both of them school teachers,were proud of their son's excellent feat.As expected,Abhijith completed his MBBS grabbing top level marks and started his preparation for the postgraduate entrance examinations.He secured a decent rank in the exam but unfortunately,failed to secure a seat in the speciality of his choice. Ironically,many of his colleagues with not so decent rank as his were able to grab the most coveted seats in some of the top institutes of the country!
Seems strange right?
Welcome to the era of unchecked reservations...
Recent ruling by the Supreme Court of India this year grants a total reservation of nearly 65% in the NEET-PG entrance examinations.Now let that sink in...this effectively provides only 35% seats(maybe even less if service quota also comes into play) to the General Category students.Isn’t this a gross denial of justice to the meritorious candidates? When you understand that more than 80% of the Unreserved General Category students hail from middle class and low-income classes, you can't help wondering at the helplessness of these deserving students.
If this is not discrimination,what else is?!
Why was reservation introduced in the first place?Let us take a look into this.
Reservation was initially offered as a provision to enable the disadvantaged classes-particularly the economically poor and those who didn’t have access to the educational facilities-to overcome the obstacles and thereby to ensure equality in the distribution of services. It was meant for the less-privileged to have a fair chance at basic higher education. As time went by, the concerned authorities started extrapolating this provision to higher studies as well.This escalated the situation leaving us at the present condition now.
It is understandable to grant reservation for basic education ; but not when it is extended to higher education. And the funniest part is that,most of them who receive the benefits of reservation are financially sound than their counterparts in the general category. Just because someone belongs to a particular caste or communal category doesn’t mean that they are entitled to all the provisions irrespective of their present status of living.
The SC observed that the grant of quota is not against merit.But anyone who understands the statistics knows it better.Another argument being put forward by those in favour of continued reservation is that the seats have been increased proportionately.But data shows that most of these seats are either in the non-clinical specialities or in private medical colleges which are again out-of-bounds for the Unreserved candidates. The actual reservation we need is to be based on the economical status alone.Only this can provide the necessary equality we have all been talking about.
There are so many students like Abhijith who have been unfortunate enough to fall under the General or Unreserved Category. So many of these meritorious students are left with only two options: either to keep studying hopelessly and repeating until they get into their seat of choice OR to be satisfied with whatever they get.
There is something else too when it comes to the cut-off marks(the minimum marks needed to qualify for counselling).In every year,the cut-off marks are further reduced after the initial rounds so that those candidates who could not even qualify in the first place gets eligible to get into some of the lesser known private colleges.It has to be remembered that these seats are management seats.And the net result? The quality of medical education in the country suffers significantly and consequently the general public too.
It is high time that this matter needs to be addressed.In fact,there is no need for reservation in postgraduate courses and above.If even after graduation,some of the students still need reservation to pursue further studies,I don't know what to say about that.
Reservation if at all considered,should be primarily based on the grounds of economical status of the people and not entirely based on the caste.The governing authorities should take into account the multiple socio-economic factors before providing reservation to a particular person or category.We have a EWS quota now for the Economically Weaker Sections but the regulations and guidelines are still not in place and this is another area where corruption can occur.
We profess regarding abolition of caste system but nobody is interested in abolishing the caste-based discriminations.
Satirically speaking, the next quota of reservation should be granted to the General Category students as they are the minority now!
In short,reservation should be provided to the entitled candidates but it should never be at the expense of the deserving candidates!
Let me know what are your thoughts on this discrimination by reservation!