The Supreme Court re-examines social backwardness.

March 20, 2015 at 10:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Backwardness criteria revisited

                                                                                                                                                                      by Ansuman Tripathy 

The lion’s share of reservation-based allotment of government jobs, and seats in schools and colleges goes to those groups who lobby the hardest. This results in the deserving communities that are forced to the fringes of the society losing their share of the benefits.

This is reflected in the Supreme Court judgment striking down the inclusion of Jats in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBC). For reasons of political expediency, some states tend to lend their ears more readily to those groups who manage to create the “perception of the self-proclaimed socially backward class”. Such practice of high-pitching the clamor for inclusion in the ‘backward’ list for getting government benefits distorts the goal of fair dispensation of social justice.

The community of Jats dispersed across nine States in India is relatively well-off. There are so many other groups in north India that lag behind the Jats both in wealth and in political clout. The Jats greatly outnumber the other groups. and, thus, succeed in muffling the latter groups’ competing demands for government benefits. The state should learn to fend off such orchestrated hyping of demand by any pressure group.

Neutrality and fairness must be the guiding values for those entrusted with the job of identifying emerging forms of backwardness. Past mistakes or “wrong inclusions” in the reservation list, the Apex Court says, can not justify further additions. However, the court has desisted from ordering any change to the list of OBCs. Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who wrote the judgment, has even expanded the criteria of social and educational backwardness to include the stigmatized transgenders for grant of reservation benefits.

The judgment, thus, clears the air in respect of the vexatious issue of eligibility for being declared as backward. It will henceforth discourage political posturing as a lever for cornering reservation benefits. The judgment adds voice to those communities that are too enfeebled by backwardness and poverty to make their voices reach Delhi.

Considerations of caste will take a back seat. New norms will, henceforth, be followed to determine who qualifies for being declared ‘backward’ for availing reservation quotas. For far too long, caste has loomed over society with all its ugly manifestations. It has perpetuated injustice and exploitation. In modern times, caste only can not be the yardstick for measuring backwardness.

In its place, more rational parameters arrived at through careful socio-economic evaluation should be adopted. This is the essence of the court ruling. The previous United Progressive Alliance government had erred in notifying the reservation for Jats in the face of opposition from the National Commission for Backward Classes. This error can be corrected now by focusing on real socio-economic backwardness in place of caste alone. In a changing society, where people continuously move from the fringe towards the centre, there is the need for re-examination of those already in the notified list. Some groups possibly can be de-listed. The Supreme Court could have considered this.

Ansuman Tripathy works as a manager in HumanCapital Ltd, Bangalore
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CBSE English letter writing — Letter to PRINCIPAL FOR LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT

March 18, 2015 at 2:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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To

The Principal

——————-

——–   HSS School

Bangalore….                                                      Date……………..

Sub….Restocking of our school library

Respected Sir,

We, the students of Class X, beg to place before you our grievances and suggestions with regard to our school library that appear to be gradually losing its relevance to us. The reasons are the stock of very old versions of most of the text books, the tattered appearance of a few important reference books, and the general absence of modern books that we need for supplementary reading. Regrettably, a good number of titles have gone missing although they are still listed in the catalogue.

Our library has been the mainstay of our academic life for long. Its deterioration in any manner hampers our studies. Restocking it with latest edition books and procurement of some current best-sellers will add some charm to this age-old wing of our institution.

As a way of suggestion, we append a list of 50 titles which you may please consider while finalizing the list of annual purchase of books.

We hope our request will be treated as concern for our dear school that has shaped our future in such a conspicuous way under your stewardship.

Thanking you,

Yours obediently,

(Students of Class X)

Encl… List of books

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