Debating India

OBC RESERVATION

Quota must benefit the poor: CPI

Thursday 18 May 2006

Special Correspondent

Seeks law to man educational institutions

NEW DELHI: Supporting the proposed reservation for other backward classes in higher educational institutions, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) maintained that this was distinct from reservation for the scheduled castes and tribes.

In a statement, the CPI (M) Polit Bureau said reservation should benefit the poor and the needy sections among these communities and for this, there has to be a socio-economic criterion to exclude the affluent and those already having access to jobs and higher education.

This came to be known as exclusion of the `creamy layer’ based on the Supreme Court judgment on the implementation of the Mandal Commission report.

Separate allocation of seats

The party said while expanding seats in educational institutions, students coming from a weaker and poorer background and who do not come in the reservation categories should also be provided for through a separate allocation of seats. It suggested that the Government prepare a proposal, which should be put up for a public debate so that the widest agreement is reached before it is taken up for implementation. Along with this, the Government should immediately prepare legislation for regulating all private higher educational institutions.

This legislation, it said, should enable the State Governments to regulate admission and fees in all private higher educational institutions which are aided or unaided. The "crass commercialisation" of higher education has closed the doors to a large number of deserving students irrespective of their background and even when they have the necessary qualifications and merit. Social control of the burgeoning `educational industry’ was an urgent necessity, the statement said.

`Agitation unjustified’

In a related development, the Communist Party of India said it supports the reservation policy and said whatever solution the Government plans to find for the issue, it should ensure that scheduled castes/tribes and other backward classes get their due share in higher institutions of learning. The party national secretary, D. Raja, said the agitation currently being carried on in various parts of the country was unjustified and the apprehension of these students was baseless.

See online : The Hindu

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