The IIMs have capitulated. They will now provide reservation to OBCs starting with the next academic session. 27% of the seats will be reserved for students from these communities, and this number will be achieved over three years, and will go into full effect in 2010-11.
But I suppose it was bound to happen. Without government subsidy, the IIMs would have to hike fees to levels that might compete with international B-schools, and thereby condemn future students to years of paying off educational loans.
One of my classmates in school was from an SC/ST community, and he used the quota to enter IIT Madras. Never mind that he was smart enough to make it through the general quota, or that his father could have built an engineering college for his son. What does matter is that this guy captured a seat that was, in principle, reserved for one with neither wherewithal nor opportunity to get a quality education.
I can't wait to see how many more times this kind of political eyewash will be perpetrated upon the Indian education system. Political forces decree that such promises must be made and met in order to retain power. It will take a powerful and self-reliant government to take a real look at the politics, economics and sociology of post-secondary education. Dream on.
My name is Sumant Srivathsan and I live in Bombay. When I'm not selling online ads, I come here and let the world know what I think of it.Comments, healthy feedback and conversations welcome at sumants (at) gmail (dot) com as well.