Here is a comment on reservation in higher education by Prof. Rakesh Basant in the latest issue of Seminar. The most interesting point made in the comment is the following:

… For example, if we focus on the age cohort of 6-13 years, children of this age group should be in primary schools. Similarly, higher age groups correspond to higher levels of education. For various socio-religious groups, the table below provides shares in student population for each age cohort along with the shares in the total population in the cohort. The difference between the two percentages would show under or over representation in each age category.

There is hardly any difference between the share in the student and the total population for different socio-religious groups when one focuses on the 6-13 years age cohort. But as expected, the gap builds up as one moves to higher age cohorts; the share in the student population for the SC/ST, Muslim and OBC categories starts to become smaller than their shares in the population in the higher age cohorts. However, the gaps are larger for SC/STs and Muslims than for Hindu OBCs.

A point worth pondering. Further, in no socio-religious group, all the children who should be in school, are in school. Considering the fact that even a small difference in the two percentages would translate to humongous numbers, that certainly is not good news.