AFTER 1998 Pokhran blast, our country had to face economic sanctions imposed by developed countries including the US, as those countries abhorred the idea of India becoming a nuclear power and they also wanted to put impediment on the path of its economic growth.
Despite all such problems, India has, however, been able to continue with its economic growth to get recognition as an world class economic power. In recognition of India'seconomic growth World Bank considered India as an ? Asian giant?. India is now one of the ten high ranking economic power in the world and it is also on the way to be adjudged as responsible power nuclear by advanced nations of the world.
However, it cannot be denied that behind such phenomenal economic growth of our country is India'sworld class technologists, engineers, scientists, economists, etc., who are recognised in advanced countries of the world as the engines of growth. But we may not forget that they are the proud products of our institutions of excellence like the Indian Institutes of Technology, the Indian Institutes of Management, etc. As these institutions intend to turn out leaders and not workers to carry out orders, their established policy is to pick up the best trained to be the best leaders, so these institutions of excellence follow the merit-based induction system. From history we find that even the Mughal rulers followed this policy and they did not hesitate to pick up Rajputs belonging to different religion as their army commanders.
The much vaunted reservation is not conducive to create leaders, even though its social desirability may not be disputed. In this competitive age, reservation cannot but be a retrograde step. Primary education is our right, but higher education cannot be so, It has to be achieved. India'seminent personalities like S.Ramanujam (mathematician), Sir J.C.Bose (scientist), Dr Homi J. Bhava (atomic scientist), our President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (missile scientist) and others are undoubtedly the products of achievement.
The Congress-led UPA government at the Centre is bent upon destroying the last bastion of merit in the country by introducing the extended reservation system to allow the students of socially disadvantaged groups to get admission in our institutions of excellence like the IITs, IIMs, etc., not on the basis of merit but on the strength of quota. The other students being as usual inducted on the basis of merit, the new arrangement will thus introduce in the institutions of excellence a system of strange admixture of the deserving and undeserving impairing gravely their existing standards of efficiency and excellence.
The impact of extended reservation thus impairing these institutions? existing standard of efficiency will hardly enable them to turn out world class technologists, engineers, scientists, economists, etc., in adequate numbers needed to maintain the existing tempo of economic growth of the country and the inadequacy of such required personnel will retard India'seconomic growth with its eventual economic destabilisation.
India is now one of the fastest growing economies of the world but it is almost entirely because of the contribution of our private sector Free market economics has helped the private business to develop without government interference and has led to the success of our private sector. The Congress-led UPA government'sattempt to dictate employment policies to the private sector thought extended reservation not only threatens to stifle its growth, but also violates the Fundamental Right of citizens to pursue any occupation, trade or business as ensured by Article 19(g) of the Constitution.
To achieve success, business requires the freedom to recruit workers who best suit its requirements. Under the quota system, the private sector will be compelled to recruit workers from the socially underprivileged groups not on the basis of merit and skill to suit the requirement of the concern, but on the basis of the quota. Such workers not having the required skill and efficiency will be less productive and lead to escalation of the cost of production of the products of the business. The business will not only lose its productive edge, but its high cost products could hardly be sold in the highly competitive world markets. India'sexports would decline depressing our economic strength and eventual destabilisation of India economy.
Further, the countrywide agitation on reservation has led us to observe anti-reservation and pro-reservation sections of our population in confrontation. Does it no go to show that reservation is causing a social divide which may not augur well for the nation?
The Congress which formed the UPA government at the Centre getting only 145 sets in the House of 545 seats, is the mastermind behind the extended reservation move. To remain in power the Congress is out to appease a section of our people to get their votes by giving them the lollipop of quota benefit, keeping party interest over the national interest. Now the people should judge whether the Congress got the sufficient mandate to take such a disastrous move which has the potential of destabilising Indian economy and cause a social divide. The congress is the oldest political party in our country. However, it'sa pity that it has no sensible leader who could visualise that the party'spresent reservation policy is likely to darken the future of the nation and convince the party high command about it.
(The author is a retired Indian Revenue Service office.)
UPA government at the Centre is bent upon destroying the last bastion of merit in the country by introducing the extended reservation system to allow the students of socially disadvantaged groups to get admission in our institutions of excellence like the IITs, IIMs, etc., not on the basis of merit but on the strength of quota.