Quotas don’t solve what’s really wrong with education

Source: Times of India

Synopsis: Recently, the government announced 27% reservation for OBC and 10% for EWS candidates in the all-India quota for medical admissions.

Introduction:

  • The proportional increase in overall seats continues the trend of entrenching reservations.
  • Now this government can claim bragging rights, just like in 2006 government did after introducing OBC reservations in central educational institutions.
  • Also, by upholding EWS quotas too, the government has theoretically pacified most social groups.

Issues:

  • First, politics of quotas is such that no one will ask even basic questions. Such as,
    • How soon will an increase in medical seats to accommodate new quotas happen?
    • What will be the quality of education after that increase?
    • How will putting more stress on this system produce a better outcome?
  • Second, there is already-existing shortcomings in medical education which restrict the output of thoroughly trained doctors.
    • Policy makers have failed to provide high quality school education or facilitate job creation.
  • Third, there is no clarity on how to attract entrepreneurs who value creating institutions and also does rigorous performance reviews of medical colleges.
  • Fourth, quota balancing will now be an added job for medical regulators not known for their commitment to excellence.
  • Lastly, there is more politics on quota and little policy aimed at quality.
    • For instance, without economic growth or learning outcomes, OBC groups, sandwiched between the general category and SC/STs, were rallied on the promise of quotas.
    • Now, groups within the OBC quota are clashing over who benefited or lost out, and even the GoI-appointed Rohini Commission is struggling to reconcile claims.

Hence, we need many more quality medical institutions to increase the supply of quality medical professionals otherwise quota along with lack of skilled human capital will subdivide the shrinking pie.

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