Reserved about Reservations

Reserved about Reservations


Too often in our nation we are compelled to
‘play it safe’,
‘sound politically correct’
‘reiterate only what is in sync with the ideas of existing social constructs’.

And this repeats itself until it reaches the point that it becomes blasphemous to put forward new ideas that aren’t quite confirming to the inherited past traditions.

Yes You Guessed it right I am talking about the Great Indian Reservation System.

Now I am no Policy maker, nor I do inherit a political lineage, hence I resort to what I can do best, Express myself in the (safer?) confines of Electronic Social Media.


The Author of

Stated a couple of points:

  1.  Reservation doesn’t impact larger strata of the society. (“It really does not affect most people in this country that what percentage of seats are getting reserved. All of the seats from which a certain section is reserved is just a drop in an ocean of unemployment.”)
  2. Apparently there is a Mafia and a secret nexus between Govt & Private Education Institute Owners. (“There is an unholy nexus of political-educational mafia which has, for the years, stalled a simple provision of ‘For-Profit-Education’ so as to preserve mediocrity and keep the existing framework of reservations in IITs, IIMs, government jobs, other reputed government institutions etc. relevant.”) Now was this point in favour of reservation or against it? I am yet to figure out.


So I would like to start with

We can’t negate the need for reservations, or in other words, “Ensuring upliftment of a particular oppressed class through equal opportunity provided to all members and a platform to send a representative that puts forward their interests”

Now that is an undeniable fact that even today 75% of the Population lives in villages and a large strata of which lives in ignorance and oppression by the HAVEs (& HAVEs now include both the Wealth and the Information Holders, whereby a steep information asymmetry has led to an ever widening gap between the two classes.

(Read:- India’s poor urged to ‘eat rats’ ;

1. Now studying Economics-I&II , We are largely or atleast marginally aware of the Incentive theory of Economics, whereby an individual is inspired to contribute only as much inputs as much necessary to reach his/her personal goals, dreams and expectations, therefore contracting his limits to stay within the comfort zone.

Another organizational behavior theory titled Cognitive Dissonance theory suggests that People tend to seek consistency in their beliefs and perceptions. So when they perceive heavy competition in exams like CAT, JEE, PSU Jobs they tend to modify their beliefs in their abilities instead of working harder to catch up and lead themselves to believe that they deserve only x%ile or y level of score.

Hence Yes, Reservation is creating a certain level of complacence or sense of casualness in the aspirants who have the leverage of holding the reservation card.


2. Another fact that is worth noting is, that most of the students exploiting the reservations are well aware, and belong to a quite well to do families (many of them already having their parents in a Public Sector Job or a Bank Manager or any such high affluence and aware social class) therefore the intended objective behind reservations isn’t quite delivered to those who actually deserve this leverage to uplift themselves.


3. Now those who have been oppressed or are from quite a socially & economically weaker sections of the society, are presumably unable to afford the ever rising fees of Government Institutions like IITs(Course Fee 4 Lakh+), NITs(Course Fee 2.5 Lakh+) and especially IIMs(13 Lakh+)

Now I am told that they are already given 50% scholarship. So yet again an advantage,
but perhaps not strong enough in case of Undergraduate studies, so Again Social Psychology & Macro Economics principle come to our rescue,
i.e. when you have to encourage a section of society or an individual to perform better, to a certain extent, Raising the Incentives can produce the desired results, So instead of lowering the admission cutoff to 50-60%ile for IIMs , Make the scholarships in tuition fees go as high as 90%,
Definitely it would or might have an impact on Treasury Coffers of IIMs but it will be a delightful setback for the IIM Professors who will witness a more hardworking and devoted class of students who didn’t reach the IIM Portals by the crutches of reservation lower cutoffs but by enhancing their own mental skillset, acumen and patience to achieve the expected standards.

For Ex. GMAT/GRE Based Institutes– Don’t lower the admission scores for Meritorious students from the 3rd World Countries but offer upto 100% scholarships to those who reach the desired and expected level of test performance.
And no wonder their R&Ds are creating wonders and Nobel Laureates’ (many of them coincidentally? Turn out to be of Indian ‘Origin’)


4. Now we also have an option to offer tutorials and coaching assistance to the underprivileged class which can’t afford to pay for heavy tuition fees to the private sector players.

A Sterling example of this would be Super-30 ( proving that mental capacities are a more a function of Hardwork, Dedication, Devotion, Determination and Burning Desire to achieve than any social/economic/religion based class.
So only the best (after going through the grind) would enter the portals of IIMs where every year 2 lakh aspirants compete for 4000 Odd Seats.


5. Now again, We have people who keep exploiting the reservation card, in their undergraduation reaching top colleges like SRCC, LSR, Hindu, IITs, NITs, and likes and then they feel they were not meant for B.Com./Engineering/Arts and again have their “I am an SC/ST/OBC (allow me a chance at an immensely lower score)” to their rescue.

Now the very basic question is? Are they still underprivileged? Are they still oppressed even after being admitted to Top 50 Colleges of the nation in their Undergrad and getting far better opportunities in every aspect than a General 51-100 ranked College Student?

I guess NOT?

So why this double reservation? Which is clearly a huge exploitation of the technical loophole in the reservation system, (Deliberate or Accidental? Can’t Say).

A. Firstly My fellow colleague mentioned that by focusing on reservation debate, we are distracted from the larger picture i.e. it doesn’t impact a large section of the society, which is clearly a mis-assumption, an IAS Making a policy impacts the population of the entire district he is incharge of.

A. Reserved category economically weaker student cracking JEE or SRCC or IIM is an inspiration for the entire village or town he hails from.

One Drop Creates a ripple.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Source:

& One Butterfly flapping its wings in a continent can bring a tornado in another. (Movie-The Butterfly Effect)
So Certainly Reservation has an impact that is beyond our limited comprehension abilities.


B. Now My dear fellow opponent argued that we ought to have more private educational institutions that can provide at par education as the IITs and IIMs, but he omitted one basic difference i.e. the 3 Fold Expense that is incurred in the so called private elite institutions who even after spending a considerable amount in branding themselves aren’t recognized as much as an IIT or an IIM Student can in a foreign territory.

So a Student Deserves to Pay 3 times the fee scoring twice higher marks than a reserved category student just because he was born in a general category family?
Doesn’t sound quite a convincing arrangement.


The Need of the hour is to merely improve the Reservation System to encourage meritocracy, to encourage students to develop their mental abilities rather than just quitting halfway during preparations hoping for the quota system to set them afloat.


Our Reservation system isn’t perfect, isn’t ideal but certainly we can’t deny the evidence that so is our nation
and hence to promote students who work hard and belong to an oppressed class
(Economically, Socially and Psychologically) must be enabled to have their seats in top Govt. Institutions and Jobs, provided they commit to working hard enough to clear a bare minimum level of score and not through blocking a fixed no. of seats irrespective of how they perform.



Formally an entry for the InsideIIM B school Debate

College: MBA(IB), Dept. of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics
Team Mate: Gorky Tyagi
Team Name:  Rational Rebels
Article I am Refuting:

Nikhil Mukhija

Life makes a Good Manager out of us. .. ...