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Quota System: Diverting Attention From The Real Problem

It is sad to see how the quota issue has been put on the national agenda by India's political leaders when the country is facing so many other more pressing problems. //

Sam Pitroda was right in suggesting that quota should not be the criterion for selecting students for institutions of higher education. But his suggested strategy of increasing the number of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) is not feasible. Already, the existing IITs are facing the problem of recruiting qualified faculty to replace those who are retiring. They also have the usual old problem of finding financial resources. How are we then going to start 70 more IITs? Thus, Pitroda's strategy is a non-starter.

Well respected IT guru N.R. Narayana Murthy has also suggested that quota should not be the deciding factor for selection of students for higher education institutions. The quota system will not help the students who get admitted under quota, nor of course do those who fail to get admission despite being "merited" students for the reasons given below.

One of the significant reasons for IITs being institutions of excellence is the fact that they are able to attract the best and the brightest. Another factor of equal importance is their ability to attract outstanding faculty. If the quality of students suffer as a result of admitting as much as 50 percent (likely to be more in the future years as we have seen in Tamil Nadu) under the quota system, the general standard of students will come down and so the quality of faculty too. Then those institutions slowly will be no different from most of the educational institutions we have in the country today.

In the beginning when IITs started, they were able to get some outstanding faculty. The salary structure the IITs were offering was above average. There were not many opportunities for them to get employment in India. Seeking employment abroad was not that popular; avenues to get employment abroad
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