Un Interesting Blog 
                                             Some thoughts...

Monday, May 22, 2006


The current Reservation Bill, aimed at increasing the quota for OBC’s in educational institutions in India, which was passed unanimously by the Lok Sabha, has caused much furor in the last few days. So, what is all the fuss about?

The boom in India’s economy has been driven by young, well-educated professionals. The benefits that this growth has brought, will surely cycle through to all sections of the society, but we can safely state that India’s development has been lopsided.

I guess it is prudent to first review the status of higher education in India. Currently, what cross-section of the society has access to the best institutions in the country? The competition that students face, to get into the best institutes of higher learning, is intense to say the least. I don’t think it is uncommon to see students “drop” one year, after completing school, in preparation for the competitive exams. And this is where the economic disparities widen. Those from not so well off families do not find it possible to afford the high priced tutorials that are considered a must if one aspires to get into a good institution. So there is, no doubt, a disparity, which must be bridged somehow.

But does this disparity arise from caste background? Now that, is the million dollar question. If you belong to a backward class, does it automatically make you economically weak? This is the key assumption in Arjun Singh’s proposition. And it is the biggest flaw in the idea.

Seeing the tremendous political support that the bill has achieved (well, which party will be stupid enough to oppose such a “vote-bank favoring” proposition?), it would be naïve to assume that it will be rolled back completely, as demanded by the agitating students. What may be acceptable, the best possible compromise, is a modification to the bill. Here is what I propose:

Using caste as a proxy for economic standing is unacceptable. There are a number of very well to do people hailing from the so-called backward classes, and their benefiting from this bill would go very much against its purpose. In addition, it is widely known how easy it is to get fake certificates. Tax returns filed by the individual’s parents/guardians can be used as the more appropriate measure. We have already established PAN numbers for all people filing taxes, and therefore, cross checking the claims should not be difficult. Anyone from a family with an income below a certain level should be eligible for the reserved seats.

Any kind of reservation meddles with the “free market” forces. By doing this we are artificially giving some people an edge, while condemning others. In this case, it may be required to do so, as the free market has not lead to an acceptable stable state. However, any such interference should be temporary. We should not keep rewarding people for being poor indefinitely. This scheme should be accessible by a particular family for only one generation – if the parent(s) have received admission into colleges on account of their being economically backward, the children should not be eligible, irrespective of their current economic standard. This ensures that the backward are brought up to a level, but only once. They cannot continue failing and keep falling back on reservations for support. In the same vein, the current reservations for SC/ST should be gradually reduced to zero. They have been enjoying this advantage for decades now – if their status is yet to improve, it just means that they have been using it as a crutch rather than an opportunity.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Free Markets
For a long time now, I have been thinking about the concept of free markets, and its practicality. On the face of it, it is an amazingly elegant system, with inbuilt checks and balances. The "invisible hand" ensures that things are in line.

However, I strongly believe that it is highly impractical and un-implementable. It exists only in theory, and requires too many "perfect conditions" to work, which, of course, do not exist in reality. I remember a joke that demonstrates this:

Milton Friedman and his wife are shopping at the local market, when the lady exclaims:
"Look dear, there is a $100 bill lying on the road!"
To this, Friedman replies, without looking down:
"That's impossible dear. If it really was a $100 bill, someone would have picked it up by now."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My last post invited a few interesting comments! Hopefully I'll be able to comment on those comments soon... :-)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Remember the school bully who would hog the swing?
Asking him to get off because it was your turn would invite a punch or two, and not wanting to be part of that predictable future you preferred to play on the slide instead.

Pure Capitalists argure that this is fair.
The bully has the right to use his physical strength to his advantage. If you are smaller in size, then too bad. Learn karate or whatever and then fight him.
I can't resist saying this.... you might also get a kick out of it!!

The moderate Capitalists argue that the little guy should also get a chance. They favour the teacher intervening to force him off for sometime to let you on.

Is one view fairer than the other? Which situation would you prefer to be in?

What if you were the bully to begin with?
But who do you think is in majority here?.... what about the greater good?....is there such a thing?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My Desk
I just realised that I can upload images off my comp! Forgive me if it has always been so, but I was of the opinion that you could only link it to images uploaded on some server...

Anyways, this is what my desk looks like most of the time. The Motorola 768i phone in the view serves the purpose of an alarm -- a poor student cannot afford the luxury of a cellphone connection!!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Queen's School of Business official blog

I'll be posting blogs on the QSB website....this is a new idea that these guys have come up with, to let prospective students know about "life at Queen's ".
Going by my feeble writing acumen, I'm sure I'll be duplicating posts on both sites!

For those interested, here is the website.

Monday, May 16, 2005


I never thought I would miss the switch on a socket board. Being an Electrical Engineer, It is painful to see a small spark everytime you pull out a plug. Don't these people know that an alternative exsists to this crude way of breaking a circuit?

Monday, April 04, 2005


The last month has been pretty hectic. So many things going on...so many changes.
April promises the same, and more.

It sure is difficult to break out of a comfort zone and venture onto unchartered grounds! That too when so much is at stake. I am tempted to believe that I should be satisfied with what I have today: a good job and a good salary (well, it's never enough, is it?).
But I think it is the right decision -- I don't want to wake up ten years from now and say "Who moved my cheese?"

The only comforting factor is that my dearest will be with me on this ride. :-)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

A Quote that I got first hand...

"-- was my life support system. My wife had died in a car accident, and a week later my mother passed away. I needed to have something to live for."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Man....what a long break from blogging!! Things are moving smoothly these days. Not everything is perfect, but I'd like to think that this is as good as it gets.
Got a good GMAT score and will now apply to colleges....I will not be an engineer anymore! Am not sure though, whether that is something to be happy about.