Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"I Have a Dream", Part N+1

As my dear departed friend Dan Niemi would say: OUT-STANDING!

Of course this could turn out badly. Of course there are huge potential stumbling blocks--read the whole linked article, which deals with some of them.

But I bet The Hip Gan is smilin' mighty, mighty big tonight.

[Emphasis in the quoted text is mine]

Via the CSM and others:

Under a new constitutional amendment, private schools, colleges, and professional training institutes that operate without government funding will be obliged to set aside more than one-quarter of their seats for students from India's "untouchable" lower castes or Dalits, as well as other socially and economically disadvantaged groups.

The amendment, which will apply to admissions for the 2006 academic year, could directly affect the lives and futures of at least 70 percent of India's more than 1.2 billion people.

In addition to Dalits, who make up one-quarter of the population, there are millions of Indians from poor tribes and disadvantaged groups collectively known as other backward castes (OBCs). According to one estimate, approximately 113 million children between the ages of 6 and 14 are now eligible for reserved seats in private schools.


Blogger Joe Katzman said...

Those private schools had better start early... by Grade 3, the gap can be so large as to be nearly unbridgeable.

"Untouchable" students who flunk out in large numbers, as American blacks admitted under similar preferences do in American higher education (that one's a bit more complex; to meet the quotas, someone who might have done well at a good state college ends up flunking out of Harvard), is a formula that serves nobody.

At the same time, when you have hard barriers preventing you from tapping such a large proportion of your nation's potential talent, something has to be done.

18 November, 2006 13:03  
Blogger Nortius Maximus said...

There's another (perhaps bigger) barrier that is nearly impermeable at present: It turns out that an awful lot (no one knows how many) of rural low-caste children in India never even get their births registered. And that's a prerequisite to any sort of path into "the system".

18 November, 2006 13:17  

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