Reservations based on a Deprivation Certificate and a Deprivation Score
Since the announcement of reservations for OBCs by the HRD ministry in last May, we have seen lot of ideas/discussions from either side of the reservation debate. Out of all this I have been trying to think how and if can caste be removed from the forefront of all this.
What constitutes on OBC has always been at the core of the discussion in most cases. Hopping around the blogosphere I have come across some of these questions.
- Who is an OBC?
- Why is such and such caste an OBC?
- How can such and such caste and the other caste be lumped together? That is equal treatment of unequals.
- How come a rich OBC’s son deserves reservation compared to a poor upper caste kid?
- What about reservations for women?
- What about reservations for Muslims? Or religious minorities?
And there are many more.
At this point I would liked to throw in the idea of a deprivation certificate and deprivation score as the basis of providing reservations.
Deprivation Certificate(DC) would be a certificate with the certificate holder’s identification and a deprivation score. Here are some key points.
- Everybody(no matter what caste, creed, sex, race or religion ) is required to obtain a DC from the govt. very much like a birth certificate.
- A DC would be a required document for admission to educational institutes and jobs.
- The Score will be calculated based on many different criteria. I will throw in a few, feel free to add/remove more
- Family History
- Economic Status
- Geographical region
- The Score will be valid for a period of say 5 years and after that it must be re-calculated. This is necessary because the score depends on factors that are not constant.
- Every criterion would carry a certain weight. How much? I guess that is the tough question that would have to be answered. But the thing is that the weight can also be revised over a period of time. For example, caste could carry more weight than economic status. Or even one caste could have more weight than the other.
Reservations based on DC and the score would fill the non reserved seats from everybody based on the merit and the reserved seat would be filled based on the score and merit. In the case of two candidates with same marks and different deprivation scores, the candidate with higher deprivation score would get the seat.
The biggest benefit of this, in my view, would be the elimination of the caste and its name from the fore front. Yes the caste will still be a factor but just by looking at the score one cannot make out whether the score is of a lower caste person or a person with a poor background or a religious minority or what not. A poor brahmin and a well to do OBC could end up having the same score.
It addresses the creamy layer issue as well.
Another benefit would be that it is an all inclusive framework that would take care of women, religious minorities and every other inequalities that we could think of.
ItÂ allows for grading different criteria by allocating weights to each.
In this scheme of things an individual can be evaluated on his/her own merit and the biggest thing is everybody by applying for the DC and the D-Score will essentially have to prove that he or she is deprived and the score will reflect that. The re-evaluation of score leave room for people to move out of the benefit net.