New Delhi, July 15 (): CSAB 2013 admission procedure to institutions like IIT, NIT has run in to rough weather. Their attempt to balance admission procedures by giving weightage to class XII board examinations has resulted again in another kind of imbalance. It is reported that 769 students turned down their seats allotted in the first round. This is something unprecedented. Even baffling is that the students from general category have not accepted the seats.
Usually in the previous years, seats for Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Castes went unfilled citing unacceptable and fabricated reasons.
For many decades, a Joint Entrance Exam at all India level was conducted for admission to the premier technical institutions in India like IIT. Scores in the JEE were the only criteria for selection subject to the reservation rules. The Joint Entrance Examination was deliberately made tougher to favour elite communities. The students from forward communities always got an edge over others. That was due to the ability of the parents who can provide their children with better environment, education and training facilities.
Initially only students from Scheduled Castes were given reservation in these institutions. Later reservation was extended to Other Backward communities after a long legal battle. These reservations were meant to balance the inequalities in social and educational backgrounds of the deprived communities. But, there were ample excuses for status quotas to circumvent this procedure and keep the reserved seats unfilled. The students from reserved categories were considered as non-meritorious and were subjected to unfavourable academic atmosphere.
According to a report made in 1993, 50% reserved seats for SC/ST students remained unfilled citing that they could not score minimum prescribed marks. Out of the admitted SC/ST students, 25% were asked to leave citing poor performance.
Moreover, even among the forward communities, students from poor background could not pass through JEE. Many students opt out due to allotment in a place far away from their homes.
Now, in the list of 9700 candidates selected for admission in this academic year, more than 8000 students have studied in CBSE and the boards from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. There are 30 other boards from various states in India. Is it true that the students from these boards are not qualified enough to pass through this screening of merit across the country?
For so many decades, the students belonging to SC/ST and OBC could not challenge the injustice meted out to them regarding violation of reservation policy. The procedures in Judiciary and the attitude of individuals in Executive, Judiciary and the press discouraged deprived classes in challenging the injustice. There were endless arguments about Merit Vs Social Justice.
Now the attempt to balance one inequality has resulted in another imbalance. Should it mean that the IITs should create quotas for the states based on their population?
The affected students in this year admission belong to all categories from all the regions of the country. Therefore it is possible now to expose all information about the admission procedures followed so far and the anomalies in the new procedures through the intervention of courts. More and more classified information will throw light on the inequalities and this will be an opportunity to rationalize the admission procedures in the elite institutions.