It may seem a good decision after all for everyone in the country, the cabinet deciding to increase the number of seats in the colleges. But, the truth is it the dumbest decision ever.
Sitting in the parliament, it is easy for those fools to tell, give 27% reservation, increase the seats by 10% etc etc, but are they cared about the implementation. That does not concern them, they have got the vote-bank for the next election satisfied. Their work is over.
Having been in IIT-B for the past one year, I can vouch that at the present level, the institute has reached a saturation.
To be competitive as an academic institution world-wide, the research output of the institute has to increase, and for that to happen, the post graduate strength and the research scholar (PhD) strength has to increase. The IITs have nicely leveraged their existing reputation to gain worldwide recognition for their budding research plans also.
What this means is that, the PG admissions in IIT-B has double over the past decade.
With the infrastructure of class-rooms, labs, hostels etc remaining the same, this is a crunch for IIT-B. Already, first year UG and M.Tech students share their room. Two people are stuffed into a room, which will be small, even by single occupancy standards. Faculty-student ratio has increased and the crunch is felt in the class-rooms as well. More than 90 students are there in each class, and it is not a matter of joke to teach 90 people at such hgh standards and make sure that they understand it also.
Add to this, the administrative problems, the problem of getting new faculty, when even the existing faculty need a pay rise. Talk about providing accomodation, world class labs (which at the moment itself is so over used), food etc after increasing the seats.
Right now, a major part of the IIT budget is spared for buying sophisticated equipments, technology and setting up new labs etc. With this decision of the gorvenrment, we will just take a step back and spend the money building hostels and class rooms.
The whole issue in this debate about reservations is the dilution of merit, quality in top institutions. Blindly increasing the seats, directly ensures that quality is diluted.
The reservation gimmick, is a key sytrategy for the gorvernment. They are killing two birds with a single stone. Not only are the vote banks strenghtened, but also, it helps them avoid the tougher (but rather less sensitive and less sensational) issue of strengthenig the school level education in the country. A recent survey in Maharahshtra showed depressing results. 90% of class 2 students in gorvernment schools do not know addition. A similar number of class 4 students do not know proper spellings of easy words. These are the type of students being groomed to enter IIT/IIM after they complete school.
The govt, would have forseen protests from the country regarding this, and now, in an ad-hoc way, as an appeasment to all, they have suggested an increase in seats, which at the present day is not possible at all.
Someone should go remind Arjun Singh that he took oath as a minister, who would work for the development of the country and his portfolio is Human Resource Development
P.S.: This policy reminds me of history classes of the old, where we were taught to condemn a certain administrative policy by the British called Divide and Rule!!!