People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Vol. XXX

No. 21

May 21, 2006

                 SFI Reiterates Support For OBC Reservations



THE central executive committee of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) supports the move of the central government to provide for 27 per cent of reservations to the OBCs. SFI demands the government to immediately call a meeting to discuss the issue and come out with the proposed legislation immediately. We condemn the high-handed attitude of the police towards the protesting students.


SFI believes that the government should also increase the number of premier institutes like IIT, IIM, AIIMS etc., and the number of seats available for admission. It is sad that the government is failing to address the growing demand for higher education in our country and start new institutes. Unless this demand is satisfied by the government taking its due responsibility in providing education to the people, there is bound to be an intense competition for the few seats available with the competing students thinking that each one is a potential obstacle in realising their goals.


The government should immediately take steps to enact a legislation in the Parliament and ensure that reservations are provided in the private self-financing institutes, the real intention of the 93rd Constitutional Amendment. We believe that reservations do not affect quality in higher education but in turn will give some solace to the deprived classes of the society. Reservations are a temporary solution to the problem of access to education and employment opportunities. The real solution would be in realizing the goal of ‘education for all and jobs for all’. Land reforms, empowering the small producers etc are some of the important steps towards this end. Until this state is achieved reservations should continue with an effort to see that the benefits are accrued to all deprived. 


SFI expresses its displeasure at the majority vote of the National Knowledge Commission against reservations. The statement of the Chairman is against the spirit of the mandate on which the UPA government is formed and the general national consensus when the 93rd Constitutional Amendment was passed.


 The government should not leave this job to the private participants as worldwide experience shows that expansion of higher education never took place without government’s active role. SFI opposes the proposal of the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission giving a call for the setting up of private educational companies. This is against the recommendations of the National Institute of Educational Policy and Administration (NIEPA), a government institute that advices it on the matters of education.