Kudos To UGC

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By Sunil Dang

In an effort to reflect the secular character of central universities, a University Grants Commission (UGC) committee has suggested that the words ‘Muslim’ and ‘Hindu’ be dropped from the names of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU). The committee has suggested that AMU should either be called ‘Aligarh University’ or be named after its founder, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, said the report. A similar reason is given for the recommendation of changing BHU’s name too. The logic being given for this is that AMU is a centrally-funded university and is thus a secular institution.

The committee has also recommended that the selection process of AMU’s vice-chancellor should be tweaked to align it with the appointment procedure followed by other central universities. Currently, AMU has a greater say in appointment process.

However, here at this juncture, when there is serious doubt over the success of caste wise reservation system in entire system, it’s opportune for the MHRD to annul caste wise reservation into the Indian universities and try implementing it on the basis of economic being of the applicant. This would not only help us decrease the number of seats going vacant every year in our universities but uplift the campus output. The intention of “Reservation” was to improve the conditions of the backward castes and communities of the society but the effects of reservation have been severe and damaging. The day a child starts his education by enrolling himself in a school, without choice he has become a part of the vicious circle of reservation. And this quota system doesn’t end here; it stays with us till our last breaths.

If we look into the higher and professional studies, the situation further worsens. For example, More than 90 percent of MBBS/BDS seats in deemed universities across the country remain vacant at the end of the first round of counseling conducted by Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), New Delhi. What’s rub on the wounds, when the DGHS published vacancies on its webpage, it was found that most of the allotted students had either not reported at the universities concerned, or chose to ‘resign’ the allotment.

Reservation in education not only discouraging, it leads to migration of merit as well. When good students don’t find admissions in good colleges and good jobs due to reserve seats, they prefer relocating themselves to other countries with better opportunities to perform and make a better living totally based on their performance levels. This has forced many fertile brains to leave the country and settle abroad.

Since, reservation is applied in education system, most of the vacancies meant for the faculty position in various educational institutions are going unfilled as they don’t found enough of applicants for the posts. Most centrally-funded institutions, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and universities, are conducting classes with over one-third faculty positions vacant, prompting the government to launch a major recruitment drive. Worst hit are new central universities with 53.28 percent vacancies followed by NITs with 47 percent teacher vacancies. Old as well as new IITs, too, have over 35 percent vacancies, human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar said while announcing a major recruitment drive across campuses in the next fortnight.

As per UN University World Institute for Development Economics Research based on a 2013-14 survey of 1,049 young men who finished high school from government schools of a similar quality in Delhi. Of these, 41 percent were eligible for quotas in education and employment. However, only 27 percent of those eligible used their benefits at least once, says the survey titled Double Jeopardy? Caste, Affirmative Action and Stigma, conducted by Ashwini Deshpande, a professor at the Delhi School of Economics. That means 73 percent of those eligible for benefits didn’t make use of them. Why? About 17 percent of the people eligible for reservations cited stigma as the reason for not making use of quotas. Of this, 10 percent said they did not do so as they “did not want the stigma of reservation”, while another 7.4 percent wanted to “show that they could do without government help”.

Hence, it’s high time for the UGC and MHRD to extend this ‘M’ and ‘H’ strike in our educational system up to

‘R’ rant.

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