The Economist writes that the Indian government’s decision to reserve 27% seats for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in education institutions is “a quarrel less about educational opportunity than political opportunism.”
The government’s determination to extend reservations can be blamed on politics. Some close to the prime minister scent an effort by Arjun Singh to embarrass his boss, whose job he is widely reckoned to think should be his. Others see it as a concerted bid by the Congress party to win votes in India’s caste-ridden largest state, Uttar Pradesh, where elections are due next year. Either way, the benefits for those justifiably angry at the deprivation and discrimination they suffer in India are likely to be marginal.
Next week’s Tech Talk will feature a series of columns by Atanu Dey on this issue.