Friday, April 14, 2006

Reservations? Bring it on...

I sat down to write one long, rambling post on the whole reservation comedy. Ended up writing one too but towards the end, I lost all enthusiasm for fighting with people. I hate confrontations anyway :) So that post ain't going to see the light of the day. Instead, here's an idea that will win hearts and minds. The only people who will oppose this policy will be IIT alumni but since their arguments will be completely colored by a deep shade of green, we can completely disregard them.

IITB batch of 2001, Bill tells me, had 27 women. Not surprisingly, he is not sure exactly how many men were there and gives me an approximate figure of 400. That is about 1 in 20. (Hang on, 1 in 43 apparently if you count just his CS batch.) Women account for about 48% of the Indian population (2% killed off and all that jazz). There is no question about the discrimination meted out to women through the centuries; no question that this discrimination pervades every section of society today. There is also no question that these women need to be given the right opportunities that would enable them to join the mainstream. That after 60 years of independence, we have only 5% of women in our top institutions of learning is a crying shame. (WTH is a crying shame btw?)

So, ladies and gentlemen, here's our new women empowerment policy - 45% of seats in all IITs reserved for women. For those of you who don't like the idea of reservations, lets call this affirmative action and we will add an extra x points to the JEE score so that these talented women will make the cut.

I can't even begin to talk about the advantages of such a policy. Just think about the diversity that these women will bring to an IIT campus. They will actually have more women than leopards in their campus, just think about it! Can you think of a more enriching experience for the depraved men of the IITs? The cream of our country will finally learn that there are such things as social skills, and showers. Next time they see a woman on the street, they will know that it isn't some strange extraterrestrial being that you keep gawking at but something as normal as the girl next to you in Machines class.

In case you are wondering that the advantages are all on one side, here are some benefits to the women - think of the improvement in self-esteem when they see all this attention they get which they would never have gotten if they didn't go to an IIT. As for the women who would get in without reservations, now that the proportions are not so much in their favor, they will actually start doing their own homeworks instead of getting the men to do it for them. And that as you all know will only help them in the long run.

I could keep going on. There are no downsides to this policy. The brand value argument doesn't hold - the drop in value is being more than balanced. When the men graduate from IIT and start working, they will actually do some work instead of spending hours leching at the receptionist. What more value can one ask for?

If you are still unconvinced, lets put this through a ballot. All current students of the IITs are eligible to vote - they get to choose between no reservation and 45% reservation for women. There's no question what they will choose. The only debate will be about the weightage given to good looking women. What say?


Falstaff said...

Veena: Three things:

1) "There are no downsides to this policy". Ya, if you're heterosexual maybe. It's a blatant violation of gay rights. And you're supposed to be a bleeding heart liberal.

2) I think you're confusing cause and effect here. Men don't turn into social losers because they go to an IIT. They go to IITs because they're social losers. The whole point about IIT is that it's a lonely schoolboy's fantasy about a safe haven where personality doesn't matter, only the ability to do math.

3) Finally, you say more women than leopards on campus as if it's a good thing. That need not be true. Just thinking about the women I know from the IITs I can think of several cases where the leopard would be preferable.

Veena said...

1)I thought homosexual men had some taste. You mean they would actually go find a partner at the IITs? Oh c'mon..would you?

2)And I suppose men who go to the IIMs have such charming personalities. I would never have known.

3)That's exactly why you need women there who wouldn't get in through open quota. See my point?

Falstaff said...

Veena: Ah, but you don't get together with guys from IIT because they're hot. You get together with them (and marry them, if state laws will allow) as an investment. So eventually, you have someone to pay your bills while you watch Johnny Depp movies and sigh over what could never be. I thought you of all people would understand that. :-).

And of course IIM guys have great personalities. The 2.3% of them who aren't engineers that is.

See your point about the leopards though. Come to think of it, with real women on campus we could have gladiatoral contests on campus. Leopards 0, Open Category women 3. Caligula rules.

camelpost said...

I challenge the concerned jokers to go ahead with 50% Reservation for not only students but also for teaching staff. Its better that Government builds one more IIT and IIM and call them RIIT and RIIM (R stands for you know what) and let others live in peace and maintain their standards. RIIT and RIIM may be put under AICTE for added glory. It will be wiser for the government to offer the best of education from primary education and make them face the world rather than give them feel of artificial security by reservation.

camelpost said...

BITS Pilani Women Enrollment - Revealing Statistics:

Educational Empowerment can transform Women into powerful agents of Social Change and the women enrollment statistics at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Rajasthan, India endorses the same.

In USA, President John F Kennedy through the Executive Order 10980 dated December 14, 1961 established the President's Commission on the Status of Women. In India, the principle of gender equality is very much enshrined right in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The National Policy for the Empowerment of Women (2001) in India has stated in one of its objectives equal access to women for quality education at all levels.

The Engineering Workforce Commission in USA found that in 2002, only 18.5 percent of all undergraduates at more than 500 different institutions were women. For example, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign presently has only 14 percent women enrollment in the college of Engineering. Low female enrollment in Engineering can be found at institutions across the United States of America with exceptions like Massachusetts Institute of Technology where women currently makeup 36 percent of all undergraduates there. If that be the case in USA, one would expect a country like India with sliding sex ratio, instances of female foeticide and women just making up 6 percent of the workforce to have statistics in women enrollment for higher education which is better not revealed.

However, the women enrollment statistics between 1996 and 2004 at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani which is Deemed to be a University and is an all-India Institute for higher education for men and women, fully residential and awarding its own degrees reveals a different picture.

The girls enrollment in B.E. (Hons) Chemical in 1996 was 29.17 percent while in 2004 it stood at 42.37 percent with a peak of 51.61 percent in 2000.

The girls enrollment in B.E. (Hons) Civil in 1996 was 28.13 percent while in 2004 it stood at 34.62 percent with a peak of 42.86 percent in 2003.

The girls enrollment in B.E. (Hons) Computer Science in 1996 was 30.19 percent while in 2004 it stood at 41.94 percent with a peak of 49.47 percent in 2001.

The girls enrollment in B.E. (Hons) Electrical and Electronics in 1996 was 21.43 percent while in 2004 it stood at 28.13 percent with a peak of 34.55 percent in 1999.

The girls enrollment in B.E. (Hons) Electronics and Instrumentation 1996 was 31.25 percent while in 2004 it stood at 47.46 percent with a peak of 49.18 percent in 2002.

The girls enrollment in B.E. (Hons) Mechanical in 1996 was a mere 06.15 percent while in 2004 it stood at 26.58 percent with a peak of 28.40 percent in 2003.

The girls enrollment in B.Pharm (Hons) in 1996 was 23.33 percent while in 2004 it stood at 46.15 percent with a peak of 51.35 percent in 2003.

The girls enrollment in M.M.S. (Master of Management Studies) in 1996 was 50.00 percent while in 2004 it stood at the peak value of 67.50 percent.

The girls enrollment in M.Sc. (Hons) Biological Sciences in 1996 was 33.33 percent while in 2004 it stood at 69.05 percent with a peak of 75.00 percent in 2003.

The girls enrollment in M.Sc. (Hons) Chemistry in 1996 was 17.24 percent while in 2004 it stood at 42.50 percent with a peak of 47.50 percent in 2003.

The girls enrollment in M.Sc. (Hons) Economics in 1996 was 09.68 percent while in 2004 it stood at 37.50 percent with a peak of 42.50 percent in 2003.

The girls enrollment in M.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics in 1996 was 25.71 percent while in 2004 it stood at 37.78 percent with a peak of 51.11 percent in 2003.

The girls enrollment in M.Sc. (Hons) Physics in 1996 was 13.51 percent while in 2004 it stood at the peak value of 35.56 percent.

The girls enrollment in M.Sc. (Tech) Engineering Technology in 1996 was zero percent while in 2004 it stood at 44.44 percent with a peak of 62.50 percent in 2001.

The girls enrollment in M.Sc. (Tech) Information Systems in 1996 was 26.67 percent while in 2004 it stood at 58.00 percent with a peak of 64.29 percent in 1998.

What emerges from the enrollment statistics at BITS, Pilani is the fact that girls opt for Engineering, Pharmacy and Management programmes with the same ease as that of Science programmes. Such a thing has been possible at BITS Pilani as the entire educational process from admission onwards is merit based and there is no gender discrimination of any kind in all the activities of the Institute.

Admissions to all the Integrated First Degree programmes of BITS, Pilani which include the Pilani campus as well as the Goa campus is made on the basis of a Computer Based Online Test called BITS Admission Test in short BITSAT spread over a month and conducted at different cities in India. The test is of three hours duration having objective type (multiple choice) questions only. The candidate gets the flexibility to choose his/her date of taking the BITSAT and on the chosen date the time session also. Such features are unheard in the Indian context.

Further, the BITS educational system has several flexibilities and one of the most popular flexibilities is the Dual Degree Scheme under which it is possible for a student to work for and complete concurrently two integrated first degrees within a reasonable period of time which is typically 5 years. All students who get admission to the various M.Sc. (Hons) programmes at BITS, Pilani are given on priority an opportunity to work under the dual degree scheme for one of the Engineering or Pharmacy or Management programmes and the allotment is done by competition based on the performance of the student during the first year at the Institute.

University can not serve Society unless it reflects Society and in terms of girls enrollment, BITS Pilani is indeed way ahead of other such institutions both in India and outside India. It is for sure that engineering or science education at BITS Pilani does not face any gender imbalance.

Cheshire Cat said...

I love the "45%" touch. We couldn't possibly have the balance in favor of the men, could we?

camelpost said...

Naam Arjun Raknewala sab Yudh nahi jeeet saktein
aur IIT IIM koi Kurushetra bi nahi hein
Na is Arjun ke paas koi Krishn bhi hai
Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya Sathuskratham
Dharma samsdha banarthaya sambavami yuge yuge
Tora Tora Tora

Veena said...

Falstaff: Watching Johnny Depp movies and sigh over what could never be - Neat. The story of my life.

And ofcourse, the question of how long term the investement actually is. As you know, I am still paying the bills around here.

Cat: Of course. This is all about equality. We wouldn't want any kind of imbalance here. :)

Falstaff said...

Veena: I'm with you. I think it's time that all these IIT guys started taking their responsibilities seriously - paying the bills not just for their wives, but for their wives' penniless and single PhD friends as well.

Red said...

This is not as much of a satire as it sounds. Till the 1970s women made up less than 10% of American law schools. Today they are a little over 50%. Initial affirmative action policies created female role models and encouraged a lot more women to apply. Plus, lawschool men have better social lifes :-)

Bill said...

There are penniless married PhD students too! Some of them the aforementioned IITians. What we need is a Penn PhD student support group. PhD students of Pennsylvania unite! You have nothing to lose but your trips to outlet malls!

Veena said...

Bill darling: Go, go form your support group. But next time, you go out to dinner don't expect me to pay for it.

Falstaff: Do you see now? This creature has no intention of taking any responsibilty. What am I to do?

Red: Ya ya, looks like the tech schools are learning too. Not for nothing did Bill manage to get himself into the admissions committee last couple of years and try to get every woman who applied into the phd program!

(Falstaff: I tried to make some money out of this since all else failed. You know, con people into paying me money for Bill to recommend them for admission types. Didn't work as he was only interested in getting all the women in and needed no incentive to do that.)

obc voice said...

how many of the women you mentioned (in BITS) are dalits and OBCs?

Falstaff said...

Bill: Sorry, but no can do. My heart bleeds for you, it really does, but being penniless when you're married and have a spouse to sponge off just isn't the same as being the truly deserving poor. I'm sorry if that seems harsh, but you made her pay for your bed, now you'll just have to lie in it.

Veena: I don't see why that should have stopped you a) as long as they didn't know that he would do it for free you could still have got them to pay and b) the whole point of being married to the man is that what he wants to do ceases to matter. You should just have cracked your whip and told him he had to admit all the rich but balding 45 year olds who were applying to a Phd in the throes of a mid-life crisis. Otherwise it was dinner at McDonald's the next time he was in Chicago.

Bill said...

Truly deserving poor? That's what we call the people with keys to Upper West Side brownstones, is it? That too without having to get married?

Falstaff said...

bill: Okay, okay, you can be part of the support group. Now sssshhh! she might hear you.

meditativerose said...

Did I hear someone say sucker?? Just you wait ... the next time you're around, I'll make you eat what I cook!!!

camelpost said...

People get admission to BITS Pilani by merit. For that matter the IIMA guy Sarath Babu who rose from the slums of Chennai and sold idlis for living and who threw away a fancy offer to start a catering business was a student of BITS Pilani prior to his IIM and none in BITS knew about his back ground.

Falstaff said...

bill: Now look what you did. She's making me pay for the brownstone now. ME!! (sob!) I hope you're happy.

MR: Ya, whatever. Given how much you eat and how much I eat, that's going to hurt you more than it's going to hurt me.

camelpost said...

IITs and IIMs will remain Institutions of the government by the government and for the government. One day MHRD may passa resolution stating that each MP is entitled for an IIT or IIM state as the MPs are serving the nation. On the contrary take the case of BITS Pilani. In the year 2000, BITS Pilani put up a campus at DUBAI. In the year 2004, BITS Pilani commissioned a campus at Goa. In the year 2007 BITS Pilani is spearheading a campus at Hyderabad. Name one IITor IIM which broke the governmental shell and did something like BITS Pilani could do. Every one knows the famous IIM and IIT wanting to set up a Sing apore Campus. Well the song was over long back. We are left only with the National Anthem.

Nirav said...

Veena... I know that there is a fair bit of jest involved in this post, but I had to say this... sorry, but I do not support your views. Don't get me wrong... I am in complete agreement about the discrimination against women and the fact that it needs to be redeemed.

However, by making this reservation at a post-grad level, you are making it open for those women who, in general, have not faced this discrimination... who have completed their primary, secondary education and also their graduation.

So how does this policy redeem the actual 'discriminated' class? Those who are made to sit at home and not go to school so that their brothers can study? If anything needs to be done, it is at the primary level... reservations at post-grad level are a sham, coz the people availing it, are those who do not actually represent the core discriminated class, but are those who have had the facilities and finances to reach that level anyway

camelpost said...

The Madras High Court has asked AICTE to furnish details based on which it issued a press notice on February 16 stipulating that all institutions offering technical education should apply for AICTE approval on or before March 7.

The First Bench comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice Prabha Sridevan, hearing a batch of petitions relating to the regulatory jurisdiction of the AICTE and the UGC over deemed universities, also asked counsel for the AICTE as to why it issued such a press notice only in respect of deemed universities located in Tamil Nadu.

During the course of arguments, the Bench also observed that there seemed to be an "overlapping of interests" in the Anna University Vice-Chancellor holding an additional charge of the Chairman of the Southern Regional Committee of the AICTE.

In his submissions, K. Chandru, senior counsel for the UGC, contended that the AICTE should give its inputs about the infrastructure and intake of deemed universities only when its advice is sought for. The UGC need not act on the unsolicited advice from the AICTE, he said, adding that similarly the Ministry of Human Resources Development was not bound by the unsolicited inputs from either of the statutory bodies. Such an advice is mandatory and not directory in nature, he said.

In April 2005 the UGC wrote to deemed universities calling upon them furnish information relating to academic standards, infrastructure and intake in their institutions. Maintaining that the Commission was processing the response, Mr. Chandru said if the amenities in these institutions were found unsatisfactory the UGC would recommend to the Central Government to revoke their deemed university status. If they meet the requirements they would be accorded recognition, he added.

G. Rajagopal, senior counsel for the Thanjavur-based SASTRA Deemed University, submitted that the institution was open to inspection irrespective of the agency involved in the process. He said all relevant information called for by the statutory agencies had already been submitted by the administration.

The Bench, posting the matter to Tuesday for further arguments, said the deliberations should be completed by noon

thelonelyfurrow said...

Guys, let us start a revolution. Let there be 100% Reservations! Let there be a new parallel education / job system, where the students / workers, management and even the friggin sweepers are appointed with reservations. And let there be 0% reservations in all the other institutions.

The time the OBC etc is born, he will have a certain admission into the reservation education system. He can study till whatever time he wants to. The teachers too are 100% from the reservation cadre. The reservation student after completion of his studies, will have an assured job in the Government. After all, didn't Nehru say that another purpose of the Public Sector was to generate employment?

camelpost said...

IIT Attempts to Improve Gender Ratio of its Students

How many women were in your class when you were at IIT? Not much more than you can count on your fingers, right?

The IITs are now doing something to improve the situation — they are slashing the application fees for women. To encourage more girls to apply, the IITs have now slashed the application fee for women by half. So, while men have to pay Rs 600, women pay just Rs 300.

"There is a socio-economic factor at work here. Most Indian families still don’t want to spend too much on getting their daughters admitted to higher-education courses, especially if they have sons to provide for. Hence, we have made this concession for our girl students," V K Tewari, chairman of IIT-JEE, told media. He, however, insisted that though only 321 girls could make it to the IITs in 2005 as against 4,771 boys, if one compares the percentage of success — keeping in mind the number of applications from each gender — the difference is not much. Thus 26% of male applicants were successful compared to 18.68% girls. Bringing down the application fees seems to have paid off. While 25,000-odd women applied last year, this year the number has shot to approximately 60,000. IIT Kharagpur, which is the organizing IIT for IITJEE 2006, feels that the number of women who will finally crack the exam will automatically improve.

camelpost said...

I found this poem of BR Natarajan BITS Pilani thought provoking: Hope you also like it.

Future Shock for India

Wisdomless Politicians
Meritless Admissions

Meaningless Curriculums
Substance less Examinations

Faculty less Departments
Student less Colleges

VC less Universities
Knowledgeless Society

Developmentless Nation
Into that hell of gloomdom

My Father,
Let my country go to Sleep
Let my country go to Sleep.....