Thursday, April 12, 2007

OBC quota: SC order impacts IIT aspirants

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20070007917

OBC quota: SC order impacts IIT aspirants
The IIT entrance exam may be just a few days away but with the Supreme Court staying the OBC quota implementation this year, hundreds of students banking on these seats are suddenly caught off guard.

Rahul Kumar was banking on the reservation for OBC students for an IIT seat. Rahul moved from Darbhanga to Delhi where he could get better coaching.

But after the Supreme Court's decision, he can no longer take a chance at writing the exam as he has already used one of the two shots given to a candidate.

Rahul's dream is to work in the UK as a computer engineer but he has little option but to wait for next year and hope that there will be reservations.

"I am just very frustrated. I don't know what to do now. It's unbelievable that the court would not allow this to happen. Thousands of students like me are left wondering what our next step should be now," he said.

Economic basis

In another part of the Capital, Uttkarsh Kumar wasn't planning to use his OBC certificate to get into IIT. He was instead banking on merit.

In fact he can't understand why people from his community need reservation.

"Reservations will only keep reminding us of the gap between the general category and the OBCs. If you need reservations, it has to be on economic basis. Dhoni is my idol. Look how he made it to the top. He is from Jharkhand from a poor family. If he can so can I," said Uttkarsh Kumar.

At a coaching institute for the IIT entrance exam, there is barely any time to think about the quota controversy.

Students like Kustav Mohanty argue that the anti-reservation protests have been unfair to OBC students.

"It is very important to spare a thought for those who do not have the same opportunities that are available to us. Keeping a certain section of seats reserved for these children only serves to help them out. So while it was a trend to be anti reservation, you just need to stop and think," said Kustuv.

For many students, reserved seats in the country's premier institutes probably brought them one step closer to their dream.

But with the Supreme Court now staying the implementation, their future is ridden with uncertainty, perhaps a major reason why even those against reservations are being forced to rethink.