Battle 5 – IIM Calcutta v/s XLRI Jamshedpur – There should be 1/3rd reservation for women in Business Schools in India (FOR)

The Great Indian BSchool Debate – Battle 5

IIM C and XLRI resume their legendary rivalry in the final battle of The Great Indian B School Debate. Comments will be enabled at 13:00:00 IST after the CounterPunch is uploaded

(Read here for Battle 1IIM Lucknow vs FMS Delhi)

(Read here for Battle 2IIM Ahmedabad vs IIM Bangalore)

(Read here for Battle 3IIM Indore vs IIM Kozhikode)

(Read here for Battle 4 : JBIMS Mumbai vs MDI Gurgaon)

Please note that the arguments put forward below cannot be ascribed as the participants’ individual opinions. All arguments put forward are only for the purpose of this debate competition.

There should be 1/3rd reservation for women in Business Schools in India

FOR the motion: IIM Calcutta                                                                   (Read XLRI’s argument AGAINST the motion)

A business school is a place where students learn more from their peers than from their books is it not? Is it not a place where people from various diverse backgrounds mingle and enrich each other? If you feel so, do read what these accomplished people have to say about Indian business schools:
[1] “ICICI Bank is committed to have more women at the top. But if business schools are producing only 15-20% of women, the real problem is the lack of women in the managerial ranks. How will you have a pool of women who can be groomed into leadership roles” says Executive Director, HR, K. Ram Kumar.

“Diversity breeds performance. The quality of viewpoints is much better if you have gender diversity in the group” says Yashwant Mahadik, HR head (Indian Subcontinent) at Philips India.


These people are stating a fact that no one who has ever studied or worked in a higher educational institution can deny: The proportion of female students in post-graduate programs in India, including the ones for business education in India is not high enough. Here is a comparison of gender diversity in 2011 of some of the top ranked business schools in the USA and in India. [2]

Business School

Number of women

Percentage of women

Harvard Business School



Stanford Business School



The Wharton School



Indian School of Business



IIM Ahmedabad



IIM Bangalore



IIM Calcutta



IIM Lucknow




While IIM Kozhikode and IIM Shillong, to their credit, have a better gender ratio of over 33%, their examples are not enough to refute the fact that the number of women in business schools in India is not enough. The statistics sound worse when one considers that this year, IIM Calcutta called a mere 170 women for the interview process as opposed to 1430 men. And as the opening quotes suggest, this is not what India Inc, with whom Indian business schools have a symbiotic relationship, wants.

The arguments in favour of reservation for women in business schools in India can be understood after explaining the causes of this current problem using certain phenomena.

The Engineering Effect:

Most of the business schools in India, in spite of trying to be objective in their selection, end up admitting engineering graduates. The rationale for this seems fair: Management is gradually becoming more analytical and oriented towards Mathematics, and the students with the best analytical minds pursue engineering after finishing high school. It is no secret that our engineering colleges have few women, though the ratio isn’t as bad as in business schools. Does that mean that women are not as analytical? No. Every year girls are among the top scorers in the Board Exams in the national level. This year, Shreya Vardhan, created a record by scoring a perfect 2400 in her SAT test and in her TOEFL test, a rare international achievement. And yet, there are relatively few women in business schools. Why? This takes us to the next explanation………

Expectations from Society:

Most women are not oriented towards higher studies. This is primarily because society has different expectations from them than from men. While men are expected to excel in their careers, women, even today, are expected to only complete a minimum education after which their role is expected to shift to the household where they become “homemakers”. They are raised and conditioned with these expectations right from childhood and for a vast majority of women, these become self-fulfilling prophecies. The conditioning starts right from childhood when girls are selectively and deliberately groomed to perform household activities while boys are exempted from the same. The grooming only intensifies as the girl grows older and by the time she is in her final year in college, her parents are already searching for a prospective husband for her.

It is true that many women join the workforce after finishing their undergraduate degree but these women are also less likely to go to a post-graduate business education program as their parents would rather invest their money in their wedding rather than the fees of a program whose return on investment depends solely on the rank and pedigree of the institution. And the returns of business education programs are not very good for colleges that are not in the top two tiers.

The cumulative effect of such a social mindset is that women feel discouraged to pursue business education. Thus, women already have a psychological handicap of lack of encouragement, as opposed to men. Since this handicap is not of their own doing, it is only fair if they are given an extra fillip in the selection process.

When one thinks of a way to compensate for this handicap, gender-based reservation comes first in the train of thought. To the opponents of reservation, this means a different form of discrimination: that against men, many of whom are bound to have better scores and credentials than several of the women selected through reservation. And that leads us to………..

Positive Discrimination:

When a male and a female candidate come under scrutiny for selection and they have similar backgrounds and credentials, then the female candidate can be preferred over the male candidate. This practice, called Positive Discrimination, is already prevalent in business schools in the USA and Europe. Since fixing a quota for women is bound to invite accusations of the Murder of Merit, this policy ensures that both merit and gender ratio are preserved and thus, fulfilling the purpose of reservation without implementing it the way it is in India.

In this time and age, when Indian business schools are leaving no stone unturned to go international, it is only logical that they take some concrete initiatives to improve gender diversity which is one of the things that make business education a transformative experience. When one debates on whether 33% reservation for women is needed or not, it must be observed that the debate is not about reservation itself, but about the essence of business school culture: Diversity.

– Mohamed Afzal Hussain & Nishan Konar


 Read everything about IIM Calcutta here


 XLRI’s counterpunch to IIM Calcutta’s opening arguments

We also agree with the contention that gender diversity enriches education in B schools and hence B schools around the world have diverse classrooms and Indian B –schools are striving hard to increase the diversity in the batches. Hence the most pertinent question is “Does reserving seats for women increase diversity of B schools”? The biggest bane that Indian B schools suffer from is the non heterogeneity of the application pool. Since majority of applicants irrespective of gender are from an engineering background these institutes are forced to sacrifice diversity.

Top 15 B-Schools By Percentage Of Engineer Intake
B-School Percentage
1). Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad 89.9
2). Management Development Institute, Gurgaon 82.0
3). Xavier Labour Relations Isntitute, Jamshedpur 76.3
4). Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi 72.0
5). National Institute of Industiral Engineering,
6) Bhavan’s S. P. Jain Institute of Management &
Research, Mumbai
7). Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi 70.0
8). Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad 63.0
9). Shailesh JMehtaSchool of Management,
IIT Bombay, Mumbai
10) Xavier Institute of management, Bhubaneswar 61.0
11). Deaprtment of Management Studies, IIT Delhi 89.0
12). Foundation for Organisational Research &
Education (FORE), New Delhi
13). International Management Institute, New Delhi 45.0
14). Goa Institute of Management, Goa 51.7
15). Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal 30.0


Hence if they go ahead and reserve 1/3 rd seats for women firstly this move would kill diversity as most of these women would be from the same background, secondly it kills meritocracy and the overall learning experience of these B schools will be devalued. If the argument is that Indian B schools forcibly through reservation should have more women students in the batches as it compares favourably with the global b school statistics, then the fundamental flaw in this argument is that these foreign institutes end up selecting more women without affecting the overall diversity of the batch  as these women are from different backgrounds unlike in India, secondly the threshold of selection is never lowered to admit women and the overall quality of the classrooms are never adversely affected.


Engineering Effect

Our friends in the initial part of their argument states by quoting various sources that diversity positively influences learning in B schools but later they contradict their own views by stating that the rationale of Indian B schools admitting more engineering graduates is fair as management is  gradually becoming more analytical and oriented towards Mathematics. It’s also pertinent to note here that analytical skills is just one of the skills needed to be a good manager and there are a plethora of other competencies like decision making, leadership, influencing skills, team orientation etc  that a manager needs to posses depending on the organization, work profile, location etc and hence the only way a real life work environment can be simulated in classrooms is by having students from different backgrounds work together and share their experiences in classrooms. Majority of the Indian engineer’s male and female work in the Information technology sector hence where is the case for diversity if B school classrooms are filled with these engineers.

Expectations from the Society

Here our friends argue that the society in general discriminates against women making them play a lesser role compared to men and in most cases women are not encouraged to pursue post graduate education as their parents marry them off rather than send them to institutes like the premier B schools. Here we ask a question does reserving seats for women in B schools change the mindset of these parents or the society in general. We know that the social stigma against women are still deeply entrenched in our society and when instances like female foeticide are still prevalent in many parts of the country how will reserving a few seats in B schools change the attitude of these families. Secondly if reservation is given for women the beneficiaries of the same would be those candidates who would anyways be willing to join B schools giving them an unfair advantage over other deserving candidates a situation similar to the creamy layer among reserved communities enjoying the benefits of reservation. If the major issue here is that of female empowerment then the best way to bring that about this is by awareness, law enforcement and highlighting the success stories of women and how society in general benefits from an empowered female population.

There is also another aspect to this, in spite of the deeply entrenched stigma against women there are clear signals of change in our society especially in the recent times. There is greater acceptance and empowerment of females which is amply indicated by- the fact that there is far greater acceptance of the girl child(the female: male sex ratio has increased from 927:100 to 940:100 ). This acceptance is fast moving from merely having a daughter to giving her an upbringing at par with the male child, and to accepting her as a colleague or manager at work.

The second indicator would be delayed family phase which is demonstrated by the fact that many women now want to ‘complete’ their education and be ‘financially independent’ before they marry and contribute to the family income.

The third indicator is education. In the last few decades, there has been a steady rise in the demand for universities and higher education in India. Today more and more women are enrolling for higher education. As per the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the enrolment figures in higher education are 4.6 million females compared to 7.1 million males6.The relative enrolment of women in higher education has increased by 10 per cent between 1991 and 2001 as compared to a mere 2 per cent in the 1991-2001 decade.


Hence to provide reservation to women in general in B schools is an affront to their capability especially when women have repeatedly proven that they can excel in all fields many of which have until now been considered the exclusive forte of men.


Our friends conclude their argument by bringing in positive discrimination which is followed by business schools in USA and Europe. If they are supporting positive discrimination its implied that they are against reserving 1/3rd seats for women in B schools as positive discrimination is done to increase the diversity in B schools not only gender diversity but also overall diversity of the batches to prevent students from one background dominating the classrooms. Positive discrimination positively influences diversity as the rigour of the selection process is still followed where as in case of reserving students undeserving female candidates will get into the institutes.


We end our counter punch by stating that gender diversity should be increased in B schools by measures like positive discrimination and reserving 1/3 rd seats for women would dilute the quality of B school graduates further this move would hardly empower women.




Team InsideIIM

We are the team behind your favourite platform.




As per my understanding, the debate is about 1/3rd 'reservation' for women. Mentioning about positive discrimination, only weakens the argument. If what you suggest is positive dsicrimination, it implies that you are against the reservation. Where is the consistency in the argument?


Reply from Team from IIM Calcutta

'Positive Discrimination IS reservation. The name is different but the function is different and maybe more effective as the USA experience suggests. I was suggesting reservation through positive discrimination. The consistency is thus evident.'


Would like to rephrase: "The names are different but the end goals are the same. Positive discrimination is perhaps more effective as the USA experience suggests

Sandeep Adhikary

The idea put forward that women today aren't oriented towards higher education, that the social mind-set is against progression of women sounds back-dated. With women giving men competition in every sphere of education, be it medicine or engineering or IAS(which was topped by a female candidate this time around), they are carving out their own areas of excellence. Women do not need to be given special treatment. They do not want special treatment. Women of today can reach out and get what they want and what they deserve. So, I do not believe there is any need for "1/3 reservation in B-Schools"

Sandeep Adhikary

How are you going to assure that women stay at their jobs by providing them reservation in B-Schools? If they believe in managing work and family and post a certain age believe in taking sabbaticals to have and look after their children? Does giving reservations in premier B-Schools and getting in women whose priorities are different in the first place, based on their culture make any sense? In that case, ou are taking away valuable seats from individuals who might actually have their priorities right. As for driven women, they will not wait for reservations to get into B-Schools. They will make their own inroads- both at work and up the management ladder.
As for the glass ceiling, the issue is with the top managements mentality in organizations and not with Indian B-Schools. Women in the middle rung of management are read and waiting, all they need are chances to breach the wall-equal chances as men. Give them that in the organization and the issue of the ceiling will go away.


"As for the glass ceiling, the issue is with the top managements mentality in organizations and not with Indian B-Schools. Women in the middle rung of management are read and waiting, all they need are chances to breach the wall-equal chances as men."
The mentality that top managements have is the mentality that is formed in their minds when they study in and graduate from business school. Dont you think that needs to be changed? Yeah, women need equal chances as men to progress, but who gives them those chances? It is the top management. The mentality can change only if the ratio of women is somehow increased.
My point is that the rot of the bias is highly systemic and needs to be tackled head-on.
Once these opportunities are available, women will have a reason to stay in the workforce.

I appreciate your thought process. But we get in out own way when we try to see if all or too many problems can be solved at once by looking at just one measure. Positive Discrimination/Reservation is only a way to start solving the many biases I spoke about.

Kaushik Basu

Take an example…Say there are 6 B-Schools A,B…F(ranked from 1 to 6 respectively)….All the 6 schools have females…The top companies recruit from A,B and C currently…They don't visit D,E,F even though they know there would be females available there to recruit…If you put reservation, some of these females would make it top A,B,C…Do you think that most of the companies which did not recruit the same females from D,E,F would recruit them from A,B,C now?There would be placement problems in the top B-schools if gender diversity is forced upon


Most of the companies which did not recruit the women from D,E,F now have the opportunity to select them post-reservation, an opportunity they otherwise would not have. That is what we are looking at. And if the women have the same/similar calibre as the men, it is not much of a problem is it?

Kaushik Basu

Your last line is in contradiction to what you want to say….If women have same/similar calibre as the men, then why do they need tweaking of criterion(referred to as positive discrimination) to get into a particular B-School? They should get in if the selection process is fair.


How do you define calibre my friend? There is another huge debate on whether the current entrance exams truly test what is required of a manager. So your assumption about what calibre is just that, an assumption.

Ankur Bhardwaj

Specifically, the 'Engineering Effect' showcases a clear lack of understanding or perhaps willful ignorance of the root cause. Instead of suggesting diverse and more encompassing intake criteria, you suggest reservation. Similarly 'Expectations from the Society' need to change – the need of the hour is to change public perception – get down to the grassroots – get more girls into schools and capable of qualifying B-School entrance exams etc. Reservation only deepens the divide.


Reply from Team at IIM Calcutta

"Engineering Effect for Dummies: You can only admit the people who apply. The number of engineers who apply is high but the ratio of women engineers who apply is low since they are relatively few when compared to men. Hence the effect
Need for Reservation:Let us change the perception at the top business schools too! Someone has to lead the way. Someone has to start somewhere. The time to fix things is not tomorrow or the day after; it is now! "

Adarsh Nair

If Bill Gates took an Entrance he might fail too but that does not discount the fact that in today’s scenario a bare minimum level of Cognitive ability is needed. Giving loans to all High School dropouts for an entrepreneurial venture won’t guarantee another technology revolution. The examples of Indira Nooyi and Dhiru Bhai Ambani can be quoted to inspire people who need confidence but these exceptions cannot be taken to be a Proof-of-Concept. Another point is that the assumption any rock given to a master craftsman can be turned into a jewel defies logic. The professors, the infrastructure, the books which most B-school grads spend their time rote learning can only give them a partial picture of the life that is to come. An assumption that getting the highest marks in “organizational behavior” will make you a team worker is flawed. B-School and the professors are tools that have to utilize to the maximum for anyone to benefit from it. You need a diamond in the rough to begin with!


Reply from Team at IIM Calcutta

"You are assuming that the CAT/XAT and GDPI processes are foolproof and meant to select the best managerial talent. But take a closer look at the paper pattern. It is tailor-made for engineers and very difficult to handle for a doctor(there is only one in IIMC), or a pharmaceutical student(only 1 in 2 batches at IIMC) or even an entrepreneur. Most women go to arts and commerce and one sees very few of them at the top b-schools. And yes, the pattern is not suited for them either. No one can say that none of the above mentioned people are not fit to become managers and leaders. The pattern also does not check for abilities like leadership. If the current process is really foolproof and meant to select the top talent then Phaneesh Murthy and Indira Nooyi will be able to ace it even today! Hence the comparison. Your assumption that the current process is perfect is wrong."

Rohit Kumar

For all the comments made above, I'd like to ask one simple question. What are schools like IIM L, IIM K ,IIM B doing? IIM L gives 2 points extra for being a woman and IIM K criteria has been unreasonably twisted to facilitate entry of women in business schools. Isn't this implicit reservation already? I think if reservation is introduced for women across categories it will just eliminate this kind of heartburn among aspirants.


The way the IIMs are trying to increase gender ratio currently cannot be supported. IIMs should not give points to "a" woman but "the" woman. Do read my argument on Positive discrimination.

prashant sahni

The argument with "Most women are not oriented towards higher studies" simply does not hold true. What next? Demand for reservation in the Olympics Football for Indians, because "Most Indians are not oriented to play football" ? There is a certain percentage of men and women who are not oriented and the rest who are oriented towards higher education. The societal discrimination against the girl child has to be removed but reserving seats in institutes of higher education is not the way forward. Reservation as tool of positive affirmation has outlived its utility and should have been discontinued years ago. Even, Dr. Ambedkar said the same. (


·The end game of sports teams is not diversity but victory in competitions. That is not the case in a business school, where diversity is a necessity.
Yet again, I state that sweeping reservations are not needed in business schools. Positive discrimination can improve the gender ratio without diluting merit. Do read my argument on this. Also, Ambedkar's comments, published in his era, do not reflect the reality and necessities of our time.


@Guest: Positive Discrimination IS reservation. The name is different but the function is the same. I wrote about Reservation through Positive Discrimination rather than making a sweeping quota. The consistency is thus evident.


Here is our first comment to counter XL's counter argument:
"Our friends in the initial part of their argument states by quoting various sources that diversity positively influences learning in B schools but later they contradict their own views by stating that the rationale of Indian B schools admitting more engineering graduates is fair as management is gradually becoming more analytical and oriented towards Mathematics. "

This is what we wrote: "The rationale for this SEEMS fair:" The word we used was SEEMS. We merely tried to explain the point of view of the management of the business schools. We do not endorse/support this. One word can make a world of difference


" Ministry of Human Resource Development, the enrolment figures in higher education are 4.6 million females compared to 7.1 million males"
We tried to verify this but could not. So we request the XL team to give us the link.

According to page 42 of the report of the Ministry of Human Resource Development given here:

In 2005, total enrollment for boys in higher education was 10573890 and that for girls was 6637326. This data does not seem very encouraging.

"Does reserving seats for women in B schools change the mindset of these parents or the society in general."
Do refer to our comment on the glass ceiling on this page, apart from our replies to other comments. Positive Discrimination is a way to start the change in the minds of people who want to enter, or study in, or are studying in, or have graduated from business schools. The inherent biases against women must go and such a strong mindset wont change overnight. We never claimed that Positive Discrimination is a magic wand that will change the fundamental way in which people think overnight. But we need to start somewhere. And we need to start now.

" If reservation is given for women the beneficiaries of the same would be those candidates who would anyways be willing to join B schools giving them an unfair advantage over other deserving candidates a situation similar to the creamy layer among reserved communities enjoying the benefits of reservation."

As we wrote in our counter argument, the debate is not about castes/communities/creamy layers. It is about women and gender ratios in business schools. Your point may or may not be valid but we feel it is irrelevant to this debate.


Regarding the table titled
"Top 15 B-Schools By Percentage Of Engineer Intake" and the conclusions drawn from it, the debate is not about streams/backgrounds that women come from. The debate is about including more women engineers/non-engineers in the batch.

It is about improving the Gender Diversity or the gender ratio or the number of female students in the batch.
Female Students……..

Improving the background diversity is a different debate that we at IIMC are currently not considering relevant.
We did write about the connection between engineering and female applicants but that was also our explanation and not our endorsement or stand.


But since half of XL's counter argument says that gender-based reservation will hurt background diversity, we would like to say that if business schools want to maintain background diversity (current statistics suggest otherwise), they could set apart a certain percentage for non-engineering students and then focus on maintaining the ratio on the number of female engineers.

Most business schools set apart a certain percentage for non-engineering students anyway, a small number. So if we look at it the XL way, the management can simply fix a limit for the number of female engineers who will be accepted.

And this is, yet again, where positive discrimination comes into play.


We also want the XL team to know that positive discrimination IS reservation. We can fix the ratio of female to male students at 2:1 (have 33% women) or even 1:1 (have 50% women), whichever is plausible.

We look forward to your views and arguments.


We also want the XL team to know that positive discrimination IS reservation. We can fix the ratio of female to male students at 2:1 (have 33% women) or even 1:1 (have 50% women), whichever is plausible.

Kaushik Basu

The fundamental premise on which IIMC argues for the topic is flawed…They argue that B-schools should have more women to meet the requirements of the industry which believes "diversity breeds performance"…But do ONLY diversity breed performance?IIMC seems to have implicitly assumed that ONLY diversity breeds performance…The reality, however is that diversity is a NECESSARY BUT not a SUFFICIENT condition for performance of companies…


Reply from Team at IIM Calcutta

"We know you are talking about merit an calibre being a necessary requirement. We really do. If it is a NECESSARY condition as you say, should that not be fulfilled? And will it not be fulfilled if there are enough women on campus?
A business school in the end should deliver what the industry wants."

Kaushik Basu

IIMC talks of a few top companies like ICICI and Phillips to establish their assumption, I ask them would the same companies recruit from lower rung colleges(read B-School) to maintain diversity? No, because they know that diversity is not the only driver to performance. One requires merit to perform…Diversity can be the icing on the cake, but what is the use of icing without the cake? What's the use of diversity without merit?
The workforce of most of the companies have more males. But how many of these companies have used gender as their compensable factor in their compensation, more weight for females to encourage more females to apply and increase diversity? None of them. On the contrary, compensable factors have been those which are first level drivers to performance and are determined by the merit of the candidates.

What would have happened had Telco provided the offer to Sudha Murthy(wife of Narayan Murthy) at the first go? For those who are unaware of the story, Telco did not have any ladies working there and hence did not have a ladies toilet. So it did not give an offer to Sudha Murthy although she was eligible and qualified enough for the post. They knew she had the merit but didn't give her the offer because they didn't have the conditions(read a ladies toilet) to offer employment to a lady. They built a ladies toilet before they offered her employment which shows their intent to have females in the workforce.Many companies say that they want a diverse workforce. But like the "ladies toilet",do they have Mass Career Customization programs to cater to the female workforce whose career patterns have a different cycle from their male counterparts due to their family commitments? Most of them don't have it and women who get into such companies find it very difficult to continue working and ultimately quit. This actually shows the intent of the companies in really having a diverse workforce.

In short, organization makes huge proclamations to be diverse and sustainable. But, in reality it is just to create a better brand which would reduce their recruitment costs in the long run. Most of these organizations don't trade off diversity with merit as can be seen from the fact that they won't recruit from lower rung colleges to meet their diversity needs. This shows that the fundamental premise of IIMC's argument is flawed.


Reply from Team at IIM Calcutta:

"Companies dont want to recruit from the lower ranked colleges for important roles as they want to maintain quality and merit. Yes, merit comes first. That is why they come to the top colleges. And once they come here, they look for diversity. Sure, they dont walk away empty-handed if they dont get gender diversity. But if they are still demanding it, should their demands not be met? What are business schools going to tell them otherwise?
"We think we know you don't really mean what you say so we will not give you what you are asking for"??

The TELCO incident, which we know very well, happened in the 1980s. Indian companies have evolved into multi-national corporations since then. This example would have been relevant back then but not now.

The whole point of Mass Career Customization program is not relevant. At least later in their careers, women have fewer commitments towards their families. Companies know that the "career patterns" of men are not VERY different from that of women. It may come as a surprise to Mr Basu, but today men are also taking special leaves in the event of the expected birth of a child or a medical emergency in the family. This writer worked with a colleague who turned down a chance to work abroad as it clashed with the birth of his first-born. Men too are honouring their commitments towards their families. Yes, women take maternity and pregnancy leaves, and going by Mr Basu's argument, he thinks that we feel that women are entitled to promotions too while they are away! Actually, we dont and this writer saw, in his workplace, that women are always given the chance to start from where they left off when they return to the workplace.

The last part of this statement seems to suggest that Mr Basu thinks IIMC expects private corporations to work like government organizations with fixed quotas in the labour force. That is wrong. We know, quite well, that companies look for merit first and there was a time when all/most companies did not take women seriously in their workforce. But that is an outdated paradigm. Things work differently at the workplace today and the quotes from the leaders at Philips and ICICI reflect this. We regret to say this but the comment on brand building was particularly short-sighted and something no HR will take lightly. Also it did not belong in this era.

Here is our message: "Merit is primary. We cannot and will not deny it. But companies are finding that apart from quality, they also need diversity. Diversity among the Meritorious. Thus, business schools ought to give it to them." [And by implementing Positive Discrimination, merit will not take a beating while giving b-schools the requisite number of women]

Mr Basu, we never claimed that diversity was given precedence over merit. Our basic assumption, thankfully for us, is not flawed."

Kaushik Basu

The topic is about 1/3 rd reservation for women, so if following are the cumulative scores after CAT + GDPI(adjusted to weights given as per the admission criterion of the B-School)

A Male 10
B Male 8
C Male 8
D Female 6
E Female 5
F Male 4

Now suppose there are 3 seats in the B-School
According to the topic given, the selected candidates should be D(1 female candidate under reservation), A & B
According to IIMC's definition of "positive discrimination" it should be A,B & C

IIMC is speaking FOR the motion so why are the outcomes different?

Kaushik Basu

Let's look at IIMC's definition of "Positive Discrimitaion"
When a male and a female candidate come under scrutiny for selection and they have similar backgrounds and credentials, then the female candidate can be preferred over the male candidate.

So, again let's refer to the example above and according to the definition A,B & C are selected.

But let's see what IIMC says later in the para about what it seeks to achieve through "Positive Discrimination"
…..this policy ensures that both merit and gender ratio are preserved and thus, fulfilling the purpose of reservation without implementing it the way it is in India.

According to your definition merit has been preserved but the gender ratio has not been preserved. So the first part of your statement contradicts the second part.

The process IIMC refers to(different from the topic) is not FULLY aligned to the outcome it seeks to achieve.

Kaushik Basu

I urge IIMC to have a look at…. to know more about Mass Career Customization….IIMC's reply to my argument about MCC is lose to say the least…MCC is not about complying statutory requirements of the company as is reflected from the maternity example of IIMC…Neither does complying to statutory requirements regarding maternity benefits(The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 applicable to all establishments) shows the company's intent in having more gender diversity at the workforce.

IIMC's comment that "the "career patterns" of men are not VERY different from that of women" is incorrect and is exactly diametrically opposite to what actually the situation actually. In fact MCC was created to cater to the different career patterns of women. It can be inferred from their fundamental premise that the workforce have changed but the workplace has not. MCC is also about giving flexibility to female so that they can work from home and "get promotions even they are away".

Not to divert from the bone of contention, companies preach a lot of things for building their brand which they themselves do not practice. They may talk about gender diversity and environmental sustainability and may even practice some of them but not to the extent of compromising their business goals which can be met with merit. Their business goals require a talent pool based on 1. Merit 2. Diversity….If they get a pool of people with 1. Diversity 2. Merit, I don't think they would compromise and placement problems at the top B-schools would exacerbate in future.


Reservation has never been a solution to any problem rather it's just an easy way to avoid an issue.
I think it would be more fruitful if reservation is done for the compulsory education for girl child or child marriage must be bann for ever. If reservation would done on these sectors and education would be free then there would be no question of reservation. Rather than going for a short term solution we should consider ways to solve the root cause of the problem and trust me reservation in no ways would solve the problem for gender diversity in the long run.