UPA Govt divided on reservation issue

August 5, 2006 at 4:59 pm 1 comment

 Uncertainty has somewhat clouded the Manmohan Singh government’s controversial proposal to bring in a Bill, providing for 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in Central educational institutions, in the current monsoon session of Parliament as a high-level meeting of his several senior Cabinet colleagues, called by the Prime Minister today, to discuss the issue and the draft bill was understood to have failed to reach a consensus.
There were differences of opinions among Dr Singh’s colleagues over certain issues relating to proposed implementation of the quota regime from the next academic year. There was also said to be a view that the bill might not be legally fool-proof to withstand a judicial scrutiny.
Apart from the OBC quota proposal’s huge financial implications, some other tricky areas also include the question of exclusion of OBCs’ “creamy layer” from the bill’s ambit and the issue of the urgent need for massive upgradation of faculty and infrastructure in the institutions of higher learning and its realistic prospects.
Consequently, there seems to be now some uncertainty over the timing of the bill’s introduction pending the government’s final view, even as OBC MPs of the UPA are keen that the bill be introduced and passed in this session itself besides ensuring its implementation in one go.
The issue is likely to be taken up by the Union Cabinet at its meeting scheduled for tomorrow.
There is the point that the reservation proposal could be implemented without impacting the quality of education only if the government puts in nearly Rs 16,500 crore.
Apart from Mr Arjun Singh, Mr Sharad Pawar, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, Mr P Chidambaram and Mr H R Bhardawaj were said to be present at the meeting today.
Mr Arjun Singh, however, later reiterated that the bill would be tabled in the ongoing session of Parliament.
The government is actually faced with a major problem : Mr Arjun Singh wants OBC reservation to be implemented in one stroke.

The HRD minister had earlier discussed the issue with the PM also and pressed for his demand. But sources said the PM had conveyed his reservations. He reportedly made it clear to the minister that the matter was before the Cabinet Secretariat, which is consulting the Planning Commission, finance ministry and other concerned agencies for detailed projects and action plans.
In the face of such major problems, the possibility could not be ruled out that the government might finally decide to go in for phased implementation of the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs, depending on funds and infrastructure available. The interim report with its recommendations submitted to the PM last week by Mr Veerappa Moily, chairman of the oversight committee set up by the government to look into the implementation of the OBC quota, have indicated that implementing the quota within one year was an “unrealistic goal”. The sub-groups of the committee have suggested implementing it in a phased manner.
Mr Moily has on various occasions stated that it was practically impossible to implement the 27 per cent quota in one stroke. Institutions like IITs and IIMs have also favoured implementation in phases in view of paucity of additional and upgraded infrastructure facilities required for the purpose.
The group for management institutions headed by the former director of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Mr Samuel Paul, has unequivocally recommended that the B-schools should reserve 27 per cent of seats in a phased manner “over at least a few years”. The IIM-Bangalore director, Mr Prakash G Apte, had recently said a “minimum of three years” or probably four years was needed to implement the policy.
The oversight committee has stated that it was committed to its mandate that the implementation process needs to commence from 2007-’08. However, certain constraints have been mentioned by the institutions through groups concerning the time frame for implementation, especially the possibility of sudden expansion leading to loss of merit and excellence. “These issues and practical constraints will be addressed by the oversight committee, institution wise, on receipt of the groups’ final reports,” the committee’s interim report had pointed out.

for more info :: http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=2&theme=&usrsess=1&id=125414

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Entry filed under: Events.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. horus  |  August 10, 2006 at 5:08 am

    The over sight commitee says govt needs to spend rs 16500 crores on this reservation gimmick .Thats about $3300 million!!
    And the Casteist politicians from tamil nadu demand it immediately This is unbelievably anti people anti common sense
    The govt is stupid enought to implement this gimmick even ata cost 3 times the estimate,that is indeed sad.It is time for protests agin.LETS hope the honourable supreme court helps us on this

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