People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 21, 2006
Reservation in Educational Institutions
Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) issued the following
statement on May 17, 2006.
Constitutional provision of reservation for socially and economically
backward classes is meant to provide access to education and jobs for the
scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes.
provision for reservation is a partial acknowledgement of the inequities of the
caste system and the discrimination and deprivation that it entailed for
centuries in Indian society.
CPI(M) has viewed such reservation as a limited step to provide opportunities
for the dalits, adivasis and other backward classes to acquire education and
jobs. At the same time, the CPI(M) has stressed that there can be no
emancipation without basic land reforms and changes in the socio-economic system
which breed exploitation and inequality.
Extension for OBC reservation to education is based on the same principle as its application to jobs. The CPI(M) supports reservation in higher educational institutions for SC, ST and OBC. The state governments are to decide the quantum of reservation in the institutions run by them. In higher education, since there is a scarcity of seats, especially in professional institutions, reservation should be accompanied by a commensurate increase in the number of seats in the institutions run or aided by the Central government.
to the UGC Chairman, there was provision for an increase of 10 per cent annually
in the seats in colleges for which financial allocations have been made in the
tenth five year plan.
the CPI(M) is for reservation, it has maintained that distinct from the
scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, there is differentiation among the
other backward classes. Reservation should benefit the poorer and needy
sections among these communities. For this, there has to be a socio-economic
criteria which excludes the affluent and those already having access to jobs
and higher education. This came to be known as exclusion of the ?Creamy
Layer? based on the Supreme Court judgement on the implementation of the
Mandal Commission report.
expanding the seats in educational institutions, students coming from weak
and poorer background and who do not come in the reservation categories
should also be provided for through a separate allocation of seats.
government of India should prepare a proposal which should be put for a
public debate, so that the widest agreement is reached before it is taken up
this, the government should immediately prepare a legislation for regulating
all private higher educational institutions. The legislation should enable
state governments to regulate admission and fees in all private higher
educational institutions which are aided or unaided. The crass
commercialisation of higher education has closed the doors for a large
number of deserving students irrespective of their background and even when
they have the necessary qualifications and merit. Social control of the
burgeoning ?educational industry? is an urgent necessity.