Published: 09th January 2019
Reservation for 'Poor' Upper Castes will impact seats available for SC/ST/OBC students. Here's how
Many students from oppressed castes manage to get a seat through merit, now with the new bill they might not have the same chance at a merit seat
The Centre's decision to provide ten percent reservation to "poor" upper castes will not infringe upon the 50 percent quota for minority reservation but there is a chance that this could still affect the SC/ST/OBC population. This is because there are many SC/ST/OBC students who get in through the general category on merit. Take for example the University of Hyderabad — the University admitted 1747 students in the last academic year, 50 per cent of that would be 874 students. But 230 of the students in the general category are SC/ST/OBC students.
University Of Hyderabad
Total admitted - 1747 | SC/ST/OBC - 1103 | Number of SC/ST/OBC student in Gen Quota - 230
Reserved seats under new UCP (Poor Upper Caste) - 87
With JNU, the case is similar. Last year, 2220 students were admitted into the post graduate courses. Out of the 1110 seats open for the general category, 60 students from SC/ST/OBC students managed to get in. With IIT, 53 minority group students did have to make use of their reservation. In Jadavpur though, out of the 1174 general category seats, 1653 seats are occupied by the OC.
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Total admitted - 2220 | SC/ST/OBC - 1170 | Number of SC/ST/OBC student in Gen Quota - 60
Reserved seats under new UCP (Poor Upper Caste) - 111
However, besides Jadavpur, the other four major Universities seem to have quite a large number of students from SC/ST/OBC communities that have managed merit seats. But having a 10 per cent reservation exclusively for the economically backward people who make only Rs 65,000 per month or own 5 acres of land (roughly the equivalent of 5 football fields) would mean that lesser SC/ST/OBC students who get in through merit might not be able to do so anymore.
Total admitted - 1344 | SC/ST/OBC - 626 | Number of SC/ST/OBC student in Gen Quota - 53
Reserved seats under new UCP (Poor Upper Caste) - 67
Total admitted - 2509 | SC/ST/OBC - 668 | Number of SC/ST/OBC student in Gen Quota - Nil
Reserved seats under new UCP (Poor Upper Caste) - 125
This would impact the total amount of ST/ST/OBC students who get a chance to study at the Universities, because these merit students might be pushed to avail seats under the reserved quota. Students who are unable to manage decent scores but have managed to pass despite their circumstances might not get a seat at all even under the reservation policy.
The reservation, however, will not be immediate and experts say that it will take some time for the Supreme Court to come to a decision.
All the statistics have been extracted from data of PG admissions submitted by the institutes for NIRF ranking. Estimation of seats is based on last year's intake