India Insight

Are Indian institutes casting a negative light on minority groups?

By Annie Banerji

Just when you thought the reputation of India’s higher education sector couldn’t get worse, two recent developments regarding scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/ST) cast doubt on the approach of a few of New Delhi’s academic institutions.

In one case, two Delhi University officials have been arrested for supplying fake caste/tribe certificates to students for admission to colleges. In another case, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, a branch of one of the most prestigious engineering and technology oriented institutes of higher education in India, has proposed to dish out “etiquette lessons” for its freshman SC/ST students.

The arrest of two permanent employees of Delhi University’s Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) cell came after a 26-year-old man allegedly managed to secure admissions for a dozen students in eight colleges this admission season.

His “educational consultancy firm” guaranteed admission to renowned colleges in the university by providing forged caste certificates for which he charged exorbitant amounts.

Delhi University reserves 22.5 percent seats for candidates who belong to the SC/ST category, recognised as minority groups by the Constitution of India. This reserved provision allows the relaxation of 5 percent on the minimum required qualifying marks.

Some questions on the Women’s Reservation Bill

INDIAThe Women’s Reservation Bill has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha on the International Women’s Day.

It may be the most consequential act of lawmaking since independence.

It is probably too late to discuss alternative proposals for getting more women into parliament or the opinion of those women who don’t agree with the reservation route to political empowerment.

How far will women’s reservation empower women and the society?

There are questions on its provisions as they have been reported.

The bill seeks to bring more women into parliament by reserving seats.

While this widens the choice for the voter by putting women leaders into circulation it also decreases the choice of candidates for voters in reserved constituencies.