As over breakfast , I switched on the television for the morning news, the opening headline was about the Symbiosis University in Pune has unilaterally gone ahead and decided to implement an OBC quota in its courses, without waiting for the Supreme Court verdict on the matter. As the TV screen came alive, the anchor was interviewing some aspiring students of the university on their views. One of them was heard saying that ”Reservation must be provided on the basis of scientific measures.
It is not clear what the smooth talking student meant by “scientific measures”. Sociological measures, yes, anthropological measures, yes, but scientific measures? Since when the fissures and the cracks in society manifested themselves along scientific lines.
When students are saying that they want reservations to be made on the basis of ‘scientific measures”, what they are really saying is that that measurable indicators like marks secured should be the basis and that meritocracy should rule. On the face of it there is nothing wrong with it, it looks fair and just. Except that it is a good question as to what is the scientific measure of excellence because presumably that is the elusive Holy Grail that every one is seeking. When St. Stephen’s College in
That leads to the inescapable conclusion that academic standards are all about scoring high marks and the higher the better. So you have students getting ninety five percent or ninety six or ninety seven percent marks. You hear of students getting into depression because they got a few decimal points less than the fellow in the next seat. Which makes people like me who got only seventy five percent or so wonder if these guys and girls are all smart geniuses or what and if so, why we aren’t winning all these Nobel Prizes that they give out every year. This article here is not taking a stand on reservations – for or against. The matter is as they say sub judice. But this piece does take a look at defining what excellence is though because the aim of all education is the pursuit of excellence or so it should be.