People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXX

No. 22

May 28, 2006

Increase Of Seats Necessary For Reservation In Higher Education


STATE secretary of the CPI(M) Biman Basu has declared that reservation of seats for students belonging to the backward sections must be done but with an attendant increase of seats in higher education. 


Biman Basu noted that it was not at all desirable that a kind of cleavage developed amongst students over the issue of reservation. Discussions across the table are necessary to resolve the issue.


The central government, said the CPI(M) leader, must speak to the Medical Council of India (MCI) and discuss the issue of increasing the number of seats.  Such increase of seats is also necessary at the level of the states should reservation be expected to be implemented without hassle.  Permission should be sought in general from such institutions as MCI, AICTE, and UGC et al. 


Biman Basu also pointed out that since the number of people belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) was not the same, the reservation ratio could not be the same all over the country. 


Besides increasing the number of seats, the budgetary allocation for higher education, too, needed to be increased.  However, it was important, said Biman Basu, to take care that persons belonging to the ‘creamy layer’ were not allowed to take advantage of the reservation quota.  At the same time, it was important to assist economically disadvantaged people even if they did not belong to the backward sections of society.


Biman Basu was critical of the manner in which police had been deployed to break up the anti-reservation movement of a section of the students in places like Delhi and Mumbai.  Lathicharges would not solve the problem, commented Biman Basu who added to stress the importance of dialogue.


Pointing to a new phenomenon among the students community over the issue of reservation, the CPI(M) leader noted that sections of students were being made the subject of derisive comments by other sections and he said that this was not all desirable and the central government must not do anything to escalate the situation beyond control.  (B P)