Redirect: on Reservations

To The Slow Painful Death of Secularism, mostly because I’ve left a pretty huge comment there, in response to another even larger comment. The post isn’t actually as dramatic as the title sounds, just the prestidigitator expressing his surprise and dismay in a few short paragraphs over the new reservations policy, and the remarks of a priest at a televised debate over the NRP. It’s mildly interesting. Far more serious to me, of course, is the utterly dimwitted plan to put reservations for FACULTY at the IITs, IIMs, and IISc s, something that i sincerely hope will only be phased in after I graduate. Here’s a link to the story. Here’s a link to a petition to revoke the above idiotic proposal, although I doubt it will do any good. On the other hand, taking the 1 minute to express your sanity might make you feel a little better.

Just in case the idea does NOT strike you as ridiculous, recall that faculty reservations will have a much more severely degrading influence on the academic quality of the institute, with a substantially reduced possible benefit (being restricted to the few additional, unqualified new lecturers), as compared to student reservations. Which is something else I don’t like, but more because they’re unfair than because they are clearly ridiculous. But I digress. Even if one is willing to accept that students who score far lower than their peers on the selection test will do as well given proper training, it is easy enough to see that both groups of students will suffer immensely without it. And the chances are far higher that a lecturer selected on the basis of caste will do a much worse job than one selected on the basis of merit. I’m not saying it’s impossible for someone selected on the basis of caste to do the job as well as existing faculty, simply that its less likely. And given that this decision will help only a few backward caste academics, probably at the expense of the far greater number of students in all the premier institutes, the (damn it, I AM going to say it!!!) brightest minds of the country, wouldn’t it make sense to be a little less haphazard?

Another important factor is that most IIT faculty (at least, the ones I know) have taken significant pay cuts to work in what they consider an institute of academic excellence, in the company of the BMotC. They work  because of their belief that they are doing something for the country, for the students, and for science and learning in general. Take away that belief, and then we’ll REALLY be f*cked.

Just my two cents. I expect a quick search will deliver far more detailed criticisms( my own quick search didn’t find many endorsements, but I’m sure they are out there as well). Am home, so posting frequency will be reduced.

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