Reservations are a Democratising Force Not at Odds With Merits

Reservations are a Democratising Force Not at Odds With Merits

There is a huge wrong opinion on reservations in many young minds & different communities like it is leading to the denying of many opportunities to the deserving candidates in many competitive exams etc… to change such kind of opinions Supreme court in recent judgments explained the clear definition of merit? & How reservations can lead to equitable distributions of education resources with fair competitiveness. What is MERIT?Merit cannot be reduced to narrow definitions of performance in an open competitive examination which only provides formal equality of opportunity. Competitive examinations assess basic current competency to allocate educational resources but are not reflective of excellence, capabilities subsequent training and individual character. Crucially, open competitive examinations do not reflect the social, economic and cultural advantage that accrues to certain classes and contributes to their success in such examinationsHigh scores in an examination are not a proxy for merit. Merit should be socially contextualized and reconceptualized as an instrument that advances social goods like equality that we as a society value. In such a context, reservation is not at odds with merit but furthers its distributive outcomes

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 How reservations can help equitable distribution of educational resources& not odd with merits?The privileges that accrue to forward classes are not limited to having access to quality schooling and access to tutorials and coaching centres to prepare for a competitive examination but also includes their social networks and cultural capital (communication skills, accent, books or academic accomplishments) that they inherit from their family. The cultural capital ensures that a child is trained unconsciously by the familial environment to take up higher education or high posts commensurate with their family’s standing. This works to the disadvantage of individuals who are first-generation learners and come from communities whose traditional occupations do not result in the transmission of necessary skills required to perform well in open examinations. They have to put in surplus effort too.If open examinations present equality of opportunity to candidates to compete, reservations ensure that the opportunities are distributed in such a way that backward classes are equally able to benefit from such opportunities which typically evade them because of structural barriers. This is the only manner in which merit can be a democratizing force that equalises inherited disadvantages and privileges. Otherwise, claims of individual merit are nothing but tools of obscuring inheritances that underlie achievements.In my opinion, it cannot be said that the impact of backwardness simply disappears because a candidate has a graduate qualification. Indeed, a graduate qualification may provide certain social and economic mobility, but that by itself does not create parity between forwarding classes and backward classes. In any event, there cannot be an assertion of over-inclusion where undeserving candidates are said to be. marks are not only whole criteria for delivering educational resources but there are many other criteria (like family background etc..) which is suitable & effective equitable distribution for education resources.


by CH.J.V.K.S. SWAROOP

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