Quota In Universities: In Contrast To US, Affirmative Action Has Become An Overused Political Instrument

This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments on the question of whether or not race can be used as a consideration in college admissions. The challengers argue that this hurts Asian and white students while the defenders point to the educational benefits of a more diverse student body.

In 1978, the court had already determined that racial quotas were illegal, but it had approved measures of “affirmative action” to admit more people from underrepresented groups. This instance demonstrates how several marginalised groups may pursue divergent goals. It’s also fascinating since it’ll be considered by the most diverse US Supreme Court ever, with the two black justices having opposing opinions.

Serious statistical, philosophical, and policy disputes complement the tug-of-war in US courts. In contrast, in India, political considerations drive quota discussions, and they do so in an unambiguous fashion. Every political regime increases the quotas, such as the Karnataka government approving an order to boost SC and ST quotas, the government of Jharkhand okaying 77% quotas in state government posts, the Central government awarding ST designation to Hattees in Himachal Pradesh, and so on. The only distinction is how near these incidents occur to election dates.

A constitutional court in India ruled against the Maratha community’s entitlement to 50% quota protection last year on the grounds that it violated the right to equality and protection against discrimination. However, the reasoning is ignored by those who push for quota removal for politically influential groups or for an increase in SC-ST quotas while complaining that a “creamy layer” has taken all the benefits for itself.

There are only so many spots available for government-funded training and employment, and everyone has to compete for them. Nobody has any faith in them to truly improve people’s lives. One of the drawbacks of affirmative action is that policies like this would only exacerbate existing socioeconomic divisions.