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Saturday, January 10, 2009

CAT and Reservations

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Of 2,38,665 people who applied to IIMA in CAT 2008, 38,417 (16.1% of total) were in reserved category (disabled, SC, ST, non-creamy OBC). Of 315 available seats, 121 (38.4% of total) were in reserved category. Of 3,776 people (1.58% of applications) who cleared minimum cut-off, 264 (0.69% of applications) were from reserved category, even after relaxed cut-off level by 8% percentage point or roughly 30% lower marks. Of 1,412 people (0.59% of applications) who were further pre-screened to be called for GD/PI, 252 (0.66% of applications, 17.85% of pre-screened total) were from reserved category, again with relaxed standards. Note that after two level of relaxed standards, roughly same fraction of reserved category people are called for GD/PI as general category. Also, note the fraction of applications from reserved category versus fraction of seats reserved. At interview stage, 11 disabled candidates are fighting for 9 seats (82% odds), 25 ST candidates for 24 seats (96%), 109 SC candidates for 47 seats (43%), 107 non-creamy OBC candidates for 41 seats (38%), and 1,160 general candidates for 194 seats (17%). At aggregate level, 0.097% of applicants secure a seat in general category while this figure is 0.315% for reserved applicants, a disparity of order of 3.2 times. [Source]

This is in numbers how much reservations are biased. They can make 38% seats for 16% people who would barely be able to fill disproportionately large quota even at generous helpings of relaxed standards. Reservations can get you a place, but they can’t make you smarter. At some level, mostly during academic grill or later in world at large, reservations stop and reality emerges, but not before many genuine candidates are sacrificed at the altar of short-term public appeasement. If only public and politicians would have wanted later rather than former…