I recently finished my bachelor’s degree and like all like-minded aspirants, began my preparations for the MBA entrance exam. CAT exam was my target, and I spent more than I was capable of on something that I knew I would struggle getting into. But I kept my faith.
The cut-offs are insanely high and to add to the problem, there are quotas for those who belong to the underprivileged class – the SCs and the STs. They are given preference over candidates like me.
On the day my results were declared, I stood before my parents, head held low. I had achieved 85 percent, but was it enough to help me get into premium institutions, like the IIMs? Of course not! Unless you get in excess of 95 percent, you will not be entertained by the top management institutes.
Now imagine this. You get a call from IIMs without even attempting any entrance exam, or you have fared below par but still manage to find a place in the institution. Your interviews are just procedural, nothing else. Don’t worry if you stuttered or faltered, you will get through. After all, you belong to the privileged category of scheduled tribe or scheduled caste. You will be given preference over those who deserve more than you do.
Interestingly, cream institutions like the IIMs generally do not declare their cut offs, but a general category student, named Deepak Mehta, filed an RTI, asking for IIMs to reveal their cut-offs. The outcome was shocking!
For the general category students, the cut off was 98.28, and for an ST student, it was 38.32. Quota system can never be a healthy phenomenon. It prevents the disempowered from working hard. It spoon feeds and corrupts the mindset.
Why do we need reservations? The objective is to ensure that in the end, every person gets an opportunity to find employment. The idea is to push STs and SCs into the mainstream, to empower them with degrees and jobs.
But I ask, instead of spoon feeding them, why not give them education to be able to stand on their own feet? Why not equip the underprivileged with skills so that he or she can rightfully claim their places in society?