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Reservation in higher education is red herring: ADB

The proposed 'Mandal Model' of seat reservation for backward classes in institutes of higher education in India will 'dilute the level of excellence' and may hamper the image of India as a 'hub of talent', Asian Development Bank's (ADB) chief economist Ifzal Ali has said.

“Reservation in places like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) is a red herring. It sounds more like a political decision than a social concern,” Ali told IANS on the sideline of the release of a book on “Labour markets in Asia.”

Ali, currently on a visit to India, said that the government should not impose such “motivated” decisions without realising the repercussions.

On April 5, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh had declared that the government was planning to reserve 27 percent of seats in 20 central universities, the Indian Institutes of Management, the Indian Institutes of Technology and other central government funded institutions for other backward classes (OBCs).

Once the proposal gets implemented reservation will go up to 49.5 percent in central government funded institutes. However, students in various parts of the country have been protesting against the proposal.



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