QUOTA — A Long TERMite!
A lacuna in development?
Quota or Reservation System has become such a frequent term today that it wouldn’t be wrong to say that our society has institutionalized it. This quota policy has expanded its roots to nearly every space and have predominantly gripped the educational institutions and workplaces. I feel, we have normalized this system to such an extent that we ourselves have forgotten the real impetus of its inception.
In India, it was introduced around 1980s at a time when equal representation was an engraved challenge. There were certain sections of society who had to face denial of various basic rights, majorly on the grounds of their social backgrounds. However, the phrase which ought to be bought to limelight here is — ‘for a limited time period’. It was decided that this system would be abolished once the desired objectives of equal representation would be achieved, which in turn reflects that the then policymakers were also somewhere convinced with the fact that continuance of such a system could falter the economic growth and can prove to be a curse upon development.
Their fear has undoubtedly materialized today because this quota system wasn’t timely withdrawn, rather it flourished over the years with multiple revisions and extensions. And, above all, the initial challenge of imparting equal rights to everyone could not be conquered till date.
Today, around 70–80% of the seats in every sphere are already reserved and remaining comes under the ambit of non-reserved class. Not only the nature of classes eligible for quota has climbed but their proportionate share in the pie of available seats have also surged abnormally which is costing a lot to unreserved class in the form of their shattered dreams and opportunities. And, the major lacuna here is the loose invigilation mechanism and political play of the ruling governments.
Then we talk of brain drain phenomenon! We are among those persons who themselves have put some ardent shackles upon the development of country in the form of restrained opportunities to meritorious minds and later on criticize and passes the buck to governments for becoming a center of brain drain. There are many other reasons behind brain drain as well, albeit Quota System being the most pertinent one. Apart from this, it also gives birth to unsettled resentment among the people living in the society which ultimately incarnates itself into polarization.
I’m not claiming that the neglected sections of the society should be kept devoid of opportunities by snatching their administered privilege. I’m neither claiming that deprived could not contribute towards the development of society by leveraging the exclusive advantages to which they are subjected, but the true objective is to spark the thought among the people as to what needs to be done now to came out of this mess because the real growth could be achieved only when we transcend all these manacles and revamp the entire system altogether where equal opportunities would be provided to all irrespective of caste, creed, gender, social class, religion, etc.