I know your beef with the Muslims so I won’t comment on that.
It is not only about data. BTW, what kind of data can you collect? The data that will tell you whether a particular caste should be considered an OBC or not? And how do you prove that? If a certain percentage is in the mainstream does it mean there are not others who face discrimination? There are no clear answers to these.
I think there are two questions
1. Should OBCs get reservation or not?
2. Who are the OBCs?
To answer the first question you have to answer the second. To answer this you need to specify criteria that will define an OBC. Mandal uses 11 such criteria with caste being the predominant one.
Then comes the next question – Is once a backward always a backward a correct philosophy? There comes the creamy layer question.
Next comes the question of representation. If x% of a certain caste are represented in the mainstream, should the entire caste be taken out from the benefit net? These are gray areas.
Now if you look at the model suggested, it would take care of all these questions. In fact it is an enhancement on the Mandal criteria by adding the facility to grade the criteria and come up with a score. The renewal policy takes care of people already benefited out of the net.
I tried to leave a comment here last night, but didn’t quite succeed. Perhaps your spam filter ate it up. Let me try again.
I’m sure you have heard of Purushottam Agrawal, Satish Deshpande, Yogendra Yadav? They have proposed such schemes, and their ideas got a lot of play in old media as well as in blogs last year when the quota issue exploded. At that time it was also pointed out that JNU has had a similar scheme for admitting students to its programs for quite some time.
I’m sorry for the plug, but I have some links to the ideas of Agrawal, Deshpande and Yadav here:
Thanks for the link. I have gone through the two links provided to The Hindu articles. I must say those are definitely good ideas, however that will work very well where the difference in marks is not huge. In some cases as we see for SC/STs the cutoff limit is way less than the open category. I am afraid there is no easy way to address this.
As it stands today that proposal could be adopted at a later time when the difference has narrowed down to an extent where the gap can be filled by providing additional marks. Till then there has to be an exclusive area for the BCs to compete within.
In my proposal I would like to make another suggestion. If say 50% seats are reserved to be filled via deprivation scores then those 50% should be split into two or three buckets based on scores. For e.g 25% seats for score between 1000 to 2000 and 15% for 400 to 1000 and 10% from 1 to 400. The benefit of doing this will be to give chances to people from different range of scores. Otherwise if there are too many candidates with higher deprivation score then they might corner all the seats.
PI, good thoughts. And as Abi said, similar things have been floated around.
But at this point, I will have to agree with Shantanu and say that the problem is that of data. Arriving on the ‘weights’ you talked about would need a lot of data.
A religion/caste/creed/economic status/family history type census is perhaps the need of the hour. I have heard many say – why do such ‘caste-ist’ thing in present day and age. But to solve a mess, you can’t be blind to it. Need to get our hands dirty by way of these seemingly non-‘secular’ census/surveys.
Forming laws without supporting data for its bases/hypothesis – best would be to have ‘historic’ data as in what has changed since some reservations were implemented – will be criminal, and SC only pointed that out.
I don’t disagree that we need data. In fact I am for all kinds of data collection but I think how you use that data is very important. If we collected all the data and didn’t weigh them properly, the whole idea of reservations could be compromised. What I think is required is , in addition to collection of data, a mechanism that will require periodic review of an individual’s backwardness and also a mechanism to get people out of the benefit net.
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“I know your beef with the Muslims so I won’t comment on that.”
This is unfair. I have commended the proposal as sensible. I have only suggested a limitation clause in the national interests. It is not unreasonable to expect that Islam should give the same benefits to their minorities, which they demand from others. Does their persistent refusal not surprise you?