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Just Shoot Me

Bala, 28, Gordon Gekko in the making, pseudo-intellectual, cynic, bibliophile, obsessive compulsive ranter...

What is Karan Thapar smoking these days?

June 16, 2006

There is something seriously wrong with Karan Thapar - In an interview with P Chidambaram he makes this ridiculous claim that "Quality of education in TN Govt institutions has collapsed due to reservation" (via National Highway)

His logic seems thus :

Reservation is bad
Reservation is in TN Colleges
TN colleges are bad.


He sees the fact that there are so many minority run educational institutions in TN and says, they were opened because there is reservation in TN. ROTFL… If he had bothered to do some basic research on the Tamil Nadu educational scenario he would have found out the truth - The minority institutions are there because govt colleges can not meet the demand / govt doesnt have money to open more. In fact running engg and medical colleges is seen as a lucarative business - Thus the presence of a huge number of self financing institutions.

If Thapar’s logic is correct then TN students must be shunning the government colleges and rushing toward the minority institutions where there is no reservation. A cursory glance at the single window system (SWS) admission data for engineering, medical streams in TN would reveal that Govt run colleges and some of the better self financing institutions (where is there is this BAD BAD reservation) are the first choice for any student (OC, BC, MBC, SC/ST anyone). Govt college seats get filled up with the toppers in the state in the first sessions of admission counselling. Now if std of education has “collapsed” as Thapar claims then all those toppers must be stupid for running after govt run colleges and other self financing institutions with reservation. Further how many TN students do you see going out of state for education? - a very tiny percentage.

All this and more is not hard to know. Any basic research is bound to dig up these facts. It seems Thapar seems desperately wants to believe the “quality will be degraded by reservation” meme and discredit Tamil Nadu education system as a whole .Admittedly there are serious problems with education in TN, but to claim that it has “collapsed” is plain idiocy. If indeed there is a "collapse", we would see an exodus of students going out of state for education. If there is a degradation of quality then we would see less and less number of TN Graduates being hired by employers - The presence of TN educated hordes in the Tech sector (or the so called "knowledge economy") is just one proof that this is not the case. If indeed there is a "collapse" it would atleast result in diminishing admissions for TN educated students in Higher educational institutions (both in India and other favorite destinations like the US).


And finally last night, he tried to make the same point with Prof Ananthakrishnan (Educationist and Ex VC of Anna Univ), by using the " Science citation index" - citations in research papers. He concludes that the number of citations from Tamil Nadu were decreasing - so quality must begoing down. Prof Ananthakrishnan pointed out that the number of citations were going down not only in TN but for India as a whole. If this indicates a problem with TN education system, then the whole country is going down the drain.

If he is going to make the argument that reservation has made TN education system collapse, Thapar has to come up with more convincing arguments that peddling such nonsense.

==

PS : I expanded this post from a comment i made in Shivam Vij's blog. Also please note that i am not claiming that all is well in Tamil Nadu Education scenario, just pointing out the hot air Thapar blows.
posted by Bala, 5:08 PM

7 Comments:

a point well made, bala. thanks
commented by Anonymous aka, 12:41 PM  
Good, Bala... It is obvious Karan Thapar approached the interview with the aim of scoring points over PC and not for an interview.
commented by Anonymous Atlantean, 11:28 PM  
>>Any basic research is bound to dig up these facts.>>

Well, "any basic research" is what the students are asking for. So why is PC denying them that. The answer is not hard to find.

Any "basic research" performed in TN will reveal several uncomfortable facts about the OBC quota system in place there. The last study done in 1981-83 (Ambasankar commission) found out that only a handful of OBCs (representing 20-30% of total OBCs) were cornering about 80% of reserved professional college seats.

The overlooked fact is these OBC communities (Vaishyas, Banias, and Thakur equivalents) are classified as FC everywhere in India except TN. Even families with doctor grandparents are now cornering the benefits of quota, even if they belong to wealthy landlord communities.

A basic study will shake up the entire TN and increase demands by sidelined OBCs for a fairer system.

All talk about merit being compromised is tangential to the main issue. Excluding any community will not compromise merit. That cannot be used as an argument for a fair system.

The main issue is "On what parameters does a community get classified as OBC ? If those parameters are available , where is the data that each caste was evaluated against those parameters ?".

Please, as always let us keep the SC/STs out of this.
commented by Anonymous rc, 1:16 PM  
RC,

My post is entirely about the claim "collapse of TN education system due to reservation". Other than that, i agree with you on these points

1) There is no current relevant data
2) The reservation proponents are actively blocking attempts to gather any data
3)Misuse of Reservation by Creamy Layer
4)The reservation issue is being hijacked by the current beneficiaries who dont want give up their share of the cake.
commented by Blogger Bala, 6:34 PM  
good
a good blast for ppl believing that , any word out from Karan Thapar has gotta be true !!!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 2:59 AM  

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