The logical case for caste-based reservations551

The logical case for caste-based reservations

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The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:00 pm

The topic of caste-based reservations is discussed very often in this forum, and I am in a tiny minority on this issue. It has been a while since I laid out the case for caste-based reservations, and I just did that a few minutes ago on another thread. I am posting it again here in case it gets buried in a thread with a title that isn't descriptive enough.

http://such.forumotion.com/t12363-to-max#95427

I support reservations in India and affirmative action in the US. I know a lot more about reservations in India than I do about affirmative action in the US. My only exposure to affirmative action in the US was at my grad school, where I noticed the ridiculously severe under-representation of some American minority groups in my class. The reason: my public university was barred by a ballot initiative from using race as a financial aid criterion, while its private competitors attracted the high-profile minority candidates with lucrative scholarships.

The basic question here is: do you support preferential treatment of economically disadvantaged students as a means to level the playing field and correct for the advantage that their richer peers enjoyed? If you do, as most people say they do, then it is hard to argue against reservations or affirmative action.

Any researcher who uses statistical methods has to account for the likelihood and the impact of both false positives and false negatives in her research. These factors are also important in public policy. Any public policy intervention that seeks to level the playing field for poor kids needs minimize the sum of: (a) the total social damage from "rich kids taking advantage of the intervention," which I refer to as false positives and (b) the total social damage from "poor kids being denied the benefits of the intervention," which I refer to as false negatives.

The total social damage done, from false positives or false negatives, is a product of two factors: likelihood of occurrence and damage per individual occurrence. Now, let us apply this framework to reservations in India.

Less than 2% of Indian households file income tax returns. The overwhelming majority of those households are middle-class families whose income comes from salaries taxed at source by the employer; many of them file IT returns because they expect a refund on the high deductions on their Form 16 (analogous to W-2 in the US). Now, let us say by way of public policy principle that any reservations that target poor kids should only be available to the bottom half of the income distribution. We have about 48% of India's households that should not be eligible for those reservations but have no formal record of income. This means that almost half of Indian families can claim that their children qualify for reservations based on a falsified income certificate, which is easy to get in India. The other half is actually eligible, but has fewer resources to claim what is their due. That makes for an awful lot of false positives for a reservation system based on income. So this would render the intervention useless -- if 98% of the people are eligible in practice, that is not much of a quota. The likelihood of false negatives is not very high for a reservation system based on income.

Now consider the system based on caste with an exemption for the creamy layer -- the law in India today. There is a strong correlation between caste and income/wealth in India. The likelihood of false positives in this system is a lot lower. The majority of India's people live in the villages, and in the villages, everybody knows everybody's caste. It is practically difficult, and socially undesirable, for people from the "upper" castes to claim to be from a "lower" caste. Even in urban areas, there is a social stigma for the "upper" castes to style themselves "lower" caste. As long as caste remains the dominant social construct it is in Indian society, this social stigma to "lowering oneself" in the hierarchy will apply, and it will keep low the likelihood of false positives. As for the "lower" caste people who benefited from reservations in previous generations and are now upper-middle class, they are caught in the creamy layer exemption. A tiny fraction of wealthy "lower" caste business families do squeak through as false positives, but that is nowhere close to the 48% number mentioned above.

Under the caste-based system, there certainly are some false negatives: poor kids from "upper" castes who are denied the benefits of reservations. But the "upper" castes account for a minority of India's population, and those castes are typically wealthier than their "lower" caste peers. The percentage of really poor people among those "upper" castes is lower than the 48% number from the above discussion. So all said, a small fraction of India's population is likely to be in the bucket of false negatives with the caste-based system.

Now let us tackle damage-per-occurrence. In my personal opinion, it is more damaging to society if a rich "upper" caste kid takes advantage of income-based reservations meant for the poor, than if a poor "lower" caste kid is denied reservations meant for the poor because they are administered based on caste. The abuse of an income-based system by the "upper" castes would completely undermine it, as 98% of people would be eligible in practice. With the caste-based system, the poor "upper" caste kid, by virtue of his caste affiliation, has access to other social support structures beyond the government-sponsored education and employment, that his poor peers from "lower" castes do not. This, admittedly, is my own value judgment and I am open to considering other views on this.

So let us sum up the alternatives available to India.
SystemLikelihood of false positivesLikelihood of false negativesDamage to society per incident
Caste-based with creamy layer exemptionSmall because of social stigma, and creamy-layer exemptionSmall, because less than 10% of India's population is likely to be able to produce these false negativesModerate, as false positives have access to other societal advantages that their peers from "lower" castes do not
Income-basedLarge, as ~48% of India's population is able to produce these false positivesSmall because nobody will claim to earn more than theyHigh, as it perpetuates historical discrimination
Based on this, it ought to be clear that the caste-based system is superior -- for now -- to a hypothetical income-based system. What would change this? If tracking of income in India improves to the point where a lot lower than 48% of Indian families could pull off a false positive with an income-based system, that would make it less worrisome to me. At the same time, if the correlation between income and caste weakens to the point where the likelihood of false negatives in a caste-based system shoots up, I would advocate its termination. It may well be that both those things will come to pass in a few decades. But until that time comes, the current system is one that works reasonably well at addressing an incredibly difficult and complex public policy challenge.



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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Rashmun on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:08 pm

Idéfix wrote:The topic of caste-based reservations is discussed very often in this forum, and I am in a tiny minority on this issue. It has been a while since I laid out the case for caste-based reservations, and I just did that a few minutes ago on another thread. I am posting it again here in case it gets buried in a thread with a title that isn't descriptive enough.

http://such.forumotion.com/t12363-to-max#95427

I support reservations in India and affirmative action in the US. I know a lot more about reservations in India than I do about affirmative action in the US. My only exposure to affirmative action in the US was at my grad school, where I noticed the ridiculously severe under-representation of some American minority groups in my class. The reason: my public university was barred by a ballot initiative from using race as a financial aid criterion, while its private competitors attracted the high-profile minority candidates with lucrative scholarships.

Caucasians are seriously under represented in science in the U.S., and so in accordance with the moronic Panini Press Method they should be given reservations so as to encourage them to opt for science. It is a fact that Panini Press remains perpetually confused.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:29 pm

there is no social stigma attached to being labeled a backward caste or a scheduled caste individual in TN. by contrast there is tremendous social stigma attached to being labeled a forward caste person, especially a brahmin, in TN. i spent my entire boyhood thinking up myriad ways to actively conceal or downplay my caste background.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:30 pm

Rashmun wrote:
Caucasians are seriously under represented in science in the U.S....

really? things always tend to skew in strange ways in the very top or very bottom schools in any field. let's take a run of the mill physics department and test your theory. how many non-caucasians do you spot?

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Rashmun on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:34 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:
Rashmun wrote:
Caucasians are seriously under represented in science in the U.S....

really?

Yes, really. There are numerous Science Professors in the U.S. whose lab personnel consist of zero Caucasians or at most one or two Caucasians.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:35 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:there is no social stigma attached to being labeled a backward caste or a scheduled caste individual in TN. by contrast there is tremendous social stigma attached to being labeled a forward caste person, especially a brahmin, in TN. i spent my entire boyhood thinking up myriad ways to actively conceal or downplay my caste background.
Is this the case only for brahmins, because of the DK movement, or does it also apply to the landed "upper" castes?

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:38 pm

Rashmun wrote:
MaxEntropy_Man wrote:
Rashmun wrote:
Caucasians are seriously under represented in science in the U.S....

really?

Yes, really. There are numerous Science Professors in the U.S. whose lab personnel consist of zero Caucasians or at most one or two Caucasians.

regardless the professors themselves are by a large majority caucasian.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Rashmun on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:39 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:
Rashmun wrote:
Caucasians are seriously under represented in science in the U.S....

really? things always tend to skew in strange ways in the very top or very bottom schools in any field. let's take a run of the mill physics department and test your theory. how many non-caucasians do you spot?

The problem is acute when it comes to science technicians, PhD scholars, Post Doc Fellows, Research scientists.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:41 pm

Rashmun wrote:
MaxEntropy_Man wrote:
Rashmun wrote:
Caucasians are seriously under represented in science in the U.S....

really? things always tend to skew in strange ways in the very top or very bottom schools in any field. let's take a run of the mill physics department and test your theory. how many non-caucasians do you spot?

The problem is acute when it comes to science technicians, PhD scholars, Post Doc Fellows, Research scientists.

that's not a problem. it's an economic problem fixing itself. there are fewer domestic folks employed in those positions because they pay poorly.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:47 pm

Idéfix wrote:
MaxEntropy_Man wrote:there is no social stigma attached to being labeled a backward caste or a scheduled caste individual in TN. by contrast there is tremendous social stigma attached to being labeled a forward caste person, especially a brahmin, in TN. i spent my entire boyhood thinking up myriad ways to actively conceal or downplay my caste background.
Is this the case only for brahmins, because of the DK movement, or does it also apply to the landed "upper" castes?

i can only speak for the brahmins. i think the piLLaimAr face a similar situation although i can't be too sure. there was no physical threat of violence or anything remotely like that. it was just uncool to be brahmin especially if one displayed the external markers and spoke "the tongue". so one was always very careful to mask that aspect of one's life, always making sure outside the home, one spoke very differently than inside.


Last edited by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Rashmun on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:48 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:
Rashmun wrote:
MaxEntropy_Man wrote:
Rashmun wrote:
Caucasians are seriously under represented in science in the U.S....

really? things always tend to skew in strange ways in the very top or very bottom schools in any field. let's take a run of the mill physics department and test your theory. how many non-caucasians do you spot?

The problem is acute when it comes to science technicians, PhD scholars, Post Doc Fellows, Research scientists.

that's not a problem. it's an economic problem fixing itself. there are fewer domestic folks employed in those positions because they pay poorly.


What about the number of undergrad or grad students in any science or engineering related department in the US. Why are Caucasian students under represented in these departments. Should Caucasians be given reservations to encourage more of them to study science and engineering in college ( I am playing Devil's Advocate here).

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:51 pm

there is NO shortage of caucasian students in any undergraduate class in engineering. they are well represented in proportion to their presence in the general population. graduate classes are a different matter.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Rashmun on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:01 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:there is NO shortage of caucasian students in any undergraduate class in engineering. they are well represented in proportion to their presence in the general population. graduate classes are a different matter.

I will discuss this issue with others. Meanwhile see this:

http://www.nber.org/digest/jan05/w10554.html

Should there be reservations in science and engineering related PhD programmed in the U.S. to encourage more Caucasians to opt do a PhD in these disciplines?

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:05 pm

Rashmun wrote:
MaxEntropy_Man wrote:there is NO shortage of caucasian students in any undergraduate class in engineering. they are well represented in proportion to their presence in the general population. graduate classes are a different matter.

I will discuss this issue with others. Meanwhile see this:

http://www.nber.org/digest/jan05/w10554.html

Should there be reservations in science and engineering related PhD programmed in the U.S. to encourage more Caucasians to opt do a PhD in these disciplines?

that will change nothing. unless the broader job market post ph.d. supports salaries equivalent to wall street jobs, doctors, and corporate lawyers, domestic students (who are still by and large caucasian) will continue to shun careers in research. i have seen this in action. the only time the number of caucasian students in the ph.d. programs spike is during economic downturns. grad school then becomes attractive.

read this report (http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/pdf/c02.pdf).

66% of undergraduate degrees awarded in science and engineering in 2009 were earned by caucasian students.
i don't agree with idefix's views on reservation for other reasons, but unfortunately your argument is going nowhere.

seriously, universities are very keen to hire domestic students in graduate programs. in fact they go out of their way to attract them; but they cannot fill the graduate program if they relied on domestic students alone. there is no hope of running a graduate program in chemistry, physics, and engineering by hiring domestic students alone.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Marathadi-Saamiyaar on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:15 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:
that will change nothing. unless the broader job market post ph.d. supports salaries equivalent to wall street jobs, doctors, and corporate lawyers, domestic students (who are still by and large caucasian) will continue to shun careers in research. i have seen this in action. the only time the number of caucasian students in the ph.d. programs spike is during economic downturns. grad school then becomes attractive.

read this report (http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/pdf/c02.pdf).

66% of undergraduate degrees awarded in science and engineering in 2009 were earned by caucasian students.

What is the caucasian population in the US ?

There is no "professional protection" for engineers and scientists and the PhDs. Some states have started insisting on a Masters degree in Engineering to be a PE in some disciplines or so I heard.

Now there is some hope - but it will take some 25 years.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:29 pm

Marathadi-Saamiyaar wrote:
MaxEntropy_Man wrote:66% of undergraduate degrees awarded in science and engineering in 2009 were earned by caucasian students.

What is the caucasian population in the US ?
Depending on how you define it, it is between 64% and 72%. If you consider Hispanic people as distinct from Caucasians, then it is 64%. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Race_and_ethnicity

PS: We are not in talking about Kansas anymore.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Rashmun on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:42 pm

Idéfix wrote:
Marathadi-Saamiyaar wrote:
MaxEntropy_Man wrote:66% of undergraduate degrees awarded in science and engineering in 2009 were earned by caucasian students.

What is the caucasian population in the US ?
Depending on how you define it, it is between 64% and 72%. If you consider Hispanic people as distinct from Caucasians, then it is 64%. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Race_and_ethnicity

PS: We are not in talking about Kansas anymore.

Putting Hispanics in a separate category the percentage of Caucasians in the US is more than 78% according to this source:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html

If these stats are correct Caucasians are under-represented even in undergrad programs in science and technology.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by truthbetold on Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:23 pm

ide ,
i do not buy into your argument that current caste based arrangement is a short term fix for long term solution of affirmative action based on income.
Indian history has the unique problem of caste system. people were denied economic and educational opportunities for a very long time. Indian society has to improve the subjugated majority to a point of competency that allows society to function reasonably well and democracy can take hold. education is the cheapest and best means to push this majority to success.
if Indian govt took 80% of its education budget and spent it on sc/st early education, India would not have any money left for rest of the people and India would have a middle class revolt. lined

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:28 pm

truthbetold wrote:ide ,
i do not buy into your argument that current caste based arrangement is a short term fix for long term solution of affirmative action based on income.
Indian history has the unique problem of caste system. people were denied economic and educational opportunities for a very long time. Indian society has to improve the subjugated majority to a point of competency that allows society to function reasonably well and democracy can take hold. education is the cheapest and best means to push this majority to success.
if Indian govt took 80% of its education budget and spent it on sc/st early education, India would not have any money left for rest of the people and India would have a middle class revolt. lined
I am not saying my argument is what was used to justify the system when it originally came about. It originally came about as a result of the history of discrimination and to address the severe underrepresentation of some groups. My argument is with those inclined to support income-based reservations instead of caste-based reservations. Given where we are today, for the reasons I laid out above, income-based reservations will be less effective and will cause greater damage to society than do caste-based reservations.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by truthbetold on Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:42 pm

ide,
income based reservation is a clever ploy. if you apply such a policy the low scoring sc:/st would be totally denied any seats. even today social backwardness contributes to weaker performance than income differences. using income as a criteria will be a disaster for sc/st people.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:47 pm

truthbetold wrote:ide,
income based reservation is a clever ploy. if you apply such a policy the low scoring sc:/st would be totally denied any seats. even today social backwardness contributes to weaker performance than income differences. using income as a criteria will be a disaster for sc/st people.
Yes, using income as the basis for reservations would basically eliminate reservations as they exist today. Pretty much all Indians would be eligible for them. If you force the economically disadvantaged to compete in the same pool as the rich non-salaried business people, then those reservations would not level the playing field at all. It will become a regime where the 2% who file income tax returns are systematically discriminated against by the 98% who don't!

Most "upper" caste people on this forum have one or two examples from their experience where a rich "lower" caste person took advantage of reservations by producing a false income certificate. If income was the basis, about 98% of Indians would be in a position to produce those false income certificates.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Ponniyin Selvan on Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:58 pm

Good points.

In India, rich people have no qualms to claim themselves as poor and get benefits from the government intended for poor. Interestingly, I see people claiming that as a sign of intelligence and those who do not avail such benefits as naive. Even people who earn tens of lakhs per year produce fake bills and receipts for claiming tax deductions on home rent. But it is exactly the opposite in terms of caste. Those who are proud to flaunt their caste are 100% from the what called as "upper castes". Others, some how try to divert the topic and avoid getting into the discussion. Importantly, caste based reservations play a role in maintaining peace in the society. If there is just one minority group that enjoys all the power, it is going to breed strife. Power and benefits from the government need to be shared across the spectrum.

Caste based reservations are going to stay as long as the arranged-marriages within caste mechanism stays. Once inter caste weddings becomes the norm rather than arranged marriages within caste, reservations are going to wither away.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by truthbetold on Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:58 pm

i think a creamy layer policy is necessary. otherwise India will have a new class of aristocracy. i went to school with such privileged people who wrecked havoc with school culture policies. their caste people disliked them. they behaved like landlords in a village. this group is currently part of congress and other party political make up. a large amount of middle class anger comes.from the behaviour of this group.
they also prevent other deserving class people get their chance.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:04 pm

truthbetold wrote:i think a creamy layer policy is necessary. otherwise India will have a new class of aristocracy. i went to school with such privileged people who wrecked havoc with school culture policies. their caste people disliked them. they behaved like landlords in a village. this group is currently part of congress and other party political make up. a large amount of middle class anger comes.from the behaviour of this group.
they also prevent other deserving class people to get their chance.
Yes, creamy layer is a necessary concept. There are two distinct groups within that layer -- employees, and business people. The way the creamy layer is implemented, with India's lack of income tracking, the concept works well to prevent those in the employee group from using reservations meant for the poor. But the latter group can always produce fake income certificates to take advantage of those benefits. This concept was implemented in the '90s, so many SuCHers who completed their education in India prior to that are not aware of its positive impact. The frequency of false positives has decreased because of the creamy layer concept.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Vakavaka Pakapaka on Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:25 pm

"The logical case for caste-based reservations"

"The logical case for vote-bank politics"

"The logical case for fostering corruption"

"The logical case for not competing with China"

"The logical case for entitlement raj"

"The logical case for Indira-style socialism"

"The logical case for allowing Bangladeshis into WB and Assam"

"The logical case for coalition with MIM to strengthen secularism"

Looks like Kiran Kumar Reddy is reading your posts. He just announced 10 lk financial support for every SC candidate who goes abroad (under the "Indiramma hastam" scam).

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by truthbetold on Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:26 pm

ide,
are you saying that an ias. officer's son is no longer eligible for reservation? how about a minister's son?

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:35 pm

Vakavaka Pakapaka wrote:"The logical case for caste-based reservations"

"The logical case for vote-bank politics"

"The logical case for fostering corruption"

"The logical case for not competing with China"

"The logical case for entitlement raj"

"The logical case for Indira-style socialism"

"The logical case for allowing Bangladeshis into WB and Assam"

"The logical case for coalition with MIM to strengthen secularism"

Looks like Kiran Kumar Reddy is reading your posts. He just announced 10 lk financial support for every SC candidate who goes abroad (under the "Indiramma hastam" scam).
Guruvu-gaaru, I have no idea about all the issues that the monkey in your closet is bothering you. If you have any particular problems with the argument I laid out, you are more than welcome to articulate them.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:38 pm

truthbetold wrote:ide,
are you saying that an ias. officer's son is no longer eligible for reservation? how about a minister's son?
If you are an IAS officer, it is hard to prove that your income is lower than the limit. If you are a Minister, it may still be hard to do so. But if you are a businessman, or a guy who does what we in Telangana call pairavIs (not sure if the term is used in other parts of AP), it is easy to produce a certificate that says your monthly income is Rs. 10,000.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Vakavaka Pakapaka on Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:43 pm

"I have no idea about all the issues that the monkey in your
closet is bothering you. If you have any particular problems with the
argument I laid out, you are more than welcome to articulate them."

In India entitlement programs, once introduced, become permanent. Laloo, Mulayam, K'nidhi, Bengal's CPM, CONwallahs, et al., became prosperous harnessing them. It is like a cancer and your analysis is perfectly linear with restricted variables.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:55 pm

Guruvu gaaru, you are welcome to introduce other pertinent variables. I didn't marry my analysis.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:21 pm

robbing opportunities from high achieving, meritorious candidates, who would make it if the competition was completely open is soul crushing and inherently unfair. for this reason i am in principle against reservations or affirmative action. the place to make reparations and level the playing field is K-12 education. expand the number of available seats and expand the number of colleges, not rob peter to give paul.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:34 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:robbing opportunities from high achieving, meritorious candidates, who would make it if the competition was completely open is soul crushing and inherently unfair. for this reason i am in principle against reservations or affirmative action. the place to make reparations and level the playing field is K-12 education. expand the number of available seats and expand the number of colleges, not rob peter to give paul.
Your position is ideologically pure and consistent. The same argument you use against what I consider leveling the playing field can be -- and is -- also used against every government intervention in our lives.

The resources available for higher education are not unlimited. I agree that addressing this problem at the earliest possible opportunity is the best way to deal with it; so doing it at K-12 level is better. But the reality in both the US and India is that vast disparities exist in the opportunities available to young people based on which family they are born into. I am all for removing those disparities, but I am not satisfied with ignoring those disparities -- while they exist -- in the interest of ideological purity.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by yogi on Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:16 am

Idefix,
Why not the creamy-layer be applied to the sc/st candidates? There's debate going on whether to introduce reservations in promoting persons to higher levels in public offices. What's your take on that?

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Marathadi-Saamiyaar on Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:43 am

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:robbing opportunities from high achieving, meritorious candidates, who would make it if the competition was completely open is soul crushing and inherently unfair. for this reason i am in principle against reservations or affirmative action. the place to make reparations and level the playing field is K-12 education. expand the number of available seats and expand the number of colleges, not rob peter to give paul.

Hahahaha... I can see the reality striking closer to home....slowly but surely....

All my advise, that were poo-poohed as some "know-it-all" comments, will bear the stamp of "sad facts" in a few years.

(Book)Mark my words: If the desi kids live on the coast, they will get into the "prestigious schools" IFF they are (really) super-duper smart. If they are just super-smart, they will lose to the just ordinarily smart, non-coastal desi kids.

In fact, I find it is even more advantageous to be in the Dakotas, Arkansas, Kentucky, NM or Wyoming. Schools may not be great, but with educated desi parents the kids will do just fine.

Welcome to TLMH and its (funny) affirmative action plans.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:53 am

The 'logic' behind caste based quotas in education and jobs is silliness and lack of clear understanding.

The caste based quotas imply that people who work using their hands (including in farming, smithy, carpentery, leather work and cleaning of clothes and roads etc., as reflected by the caste label) are deprived, needing help from Govt. in education / training etc. to get away from that kind of work, no matter how important it might be to the society.

This type of nutty thinking in public policy is unique to India and has had quite a negative impact.

The agriculture has suffered in the country. The proper construction and maintenance of infrastructure (e.g. public roads, streets and buildings etc.) is hardly there. The rubbish lies all around. Above all, the caste based quotas officially imply that the manual work (as indicated by the caste label) is no good and the Govt. will provide help in getting away from it.

So much for the logic behind caste based quotas.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:59 am

Marathadi-Saamiyaar wrote:
MaxEntropy_Man wrote:robbing opportunities from high achieving, meritorious candidates, who would make it if the competition was completely open is soul crushing and inherently unfair. for this reason i am in principle against reservations or affirmative action. the place to make reparations and level the playing field is K-12 education. expand the number of available seats and expand the number of colleges, not rob peter to give paul.

Hahahaha... I can see the reality striking closer to home....slowly but surely....

All my advise, that were poo-poohed as some "know-it-all" comments, will bear the stamp of "sad facts" in a few years.

(Book)Mark my words: If the desi kids live on the coast, they will get into the "prestigious schools" IFF they are (really) super-duper smart. If they are just super-smart, they will lose to the just ordinarily smart, non-coastal desi kids.

In fact, I find it is even more advantageous to be in the Dakotas, Arkansas, Kentucky, NM or Wyoming. Schools may not be great, but with educated desi parents the kids will do just fine.

Welcome to TLMH and its (funny) affirmative action plans.

the implication being that closer to my own need to deal with college admissions, i have hewed closer to your point of view, which i was not to begin with? my position on reservations has always been consistent. i cannot support it in principle, although i could support a limited role for the very economically needy.

as to living in podunk USA, career decisions are not made based on where kids get to attend college twenty years later. maybe you think like that, and you strategically ended up in kansas (or like to say it to make yourself feel better), but most normal people don't.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:58 am

Seva Lamberdar wrote:The 'logic' behind caste based quotas in education and jobs is silliness and lack of clear understanding.

The caste based quotas imply that people who work using their hands (including in farming, smithy, carpentery, leather work and cleaning of clothes and roads etc., as reflected by the caste label) are deprived, needing help from Govt. in education / training etc. to get away from that kind of work, no matter how important it might be to the society.

This type of nutty thinking in public policy is unique to India and has had quite a negative impact.

The agriculture has suffered in the country. The proper construction and maintenance of infrastructure (e.g. public roads, streets and buildings etc.) is hardly there. The rubbish lies all around. Above all, the caste based quotas officially imply that the manual work (as indicated by the caste label) is no good and the Govt. will provide help in getting away from it.

So much for the logic behind caste based quotas.

As for the comparison of non-Indian type affirmative action with Indian caste based quotas / reservations, there is none.

The former seems like an effort by the Govts. to give a helping hand and a little extra boost to a small percentage of candidates belonging to the minority communities which had a real hard time economically etc. in the past, provided that those candidates (considered for the affirmative action) are equal or very nearly equal in merit etc. to non affirmative action candidates.

The caste based reservation on the other hand creates a wholesale caste advantage in education and jobs (even more than 50% of the total seats allotted as quotas) to people deemed underprivileged because their caste indicates the ancestral association with manual work (in farming etc.).

Moreover, it matters little whether the caste-specific descendents of long ago manual workers now make Rs. 50,000 per month (Rs. 6 lakh per year) as OBCs or even an unlimited amount (Rs. 100,000 per month) as SCs etc., they still will qualify for caste based quotas from Govt. in education and jobs to get away from the manual work type occupations. On the other hand, people whose caste does not reflect any ancestral association with manual work have no right to caste quotas even if they earn money doing manual work (as farmer or cleaner etc.) and live near or below the poverty line (yearly family income less than Rs. 18000).

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Marathadi-Saamiyaar on Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:26 am

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:

the implication being that closer to my own need to deal with college admissions, i have hewed closer to your point of view, which i was not to begin with? my position on reservations has always been consistent. i cannot support it in principle, although i could support a limited role for the very economically needy.

as to living in podunk USA, career decisions are not made based on where kids get to attend college twenty years later. maybe you think like that, and you strategically ended up in kansas (or like to say it to make yourself feel better), but most normal people don't.

Agree....it is hard to look that far down the road. I took the logic thet, being 5000 miles away, Kansas, Hawaii, California, NY did not make much difference. Besides having lived in mega cities both I and my wife hated them - still do. My staying in Kansas has always been strategic and need-based. Have friends who looked from personal career point of view insisting the rest will "fall in place" and they are doing fine as well.

Anyway, each to his own.

But, in India and also in US, I do support affirmative action - but corrective measures built in to automatically take care of the changing situations and minimizing its misuse and abuse. Sort of like how SS benefits are adjusted automatically wrt to inflation.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:11 pm

yogi wrote:Why not the creamy-layer be applied to the sc/st candidates?
I support the application of the concept to all categories that are eligible for reservations, including SC/ST.

yogi wrote:There's debate going on whether to introduce reservations in promoting persons to higher levels in public offices. What's your take on that?
I believe the case for reservations in promotions is much, much weaker than that for reservations in government employment. And the case for reservations in employment is much weaker than the case for reservations in education. Reservations in jobs made some sense at independence to correct for the lack of representation of "lower" castes in government, and government was a bigger part of the economy than it is now. But with increasing private sector role in the economy and the improved representation of "lower" castes in government, I don't see a long-term need for reservations in jobs, and much less for reservations in promotions.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Rashmun on Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:36 pm

Idéfix wrote:
yogi wrote:Why not the creamy-layer be applied to the sc/st candidates?
I support the application of the concept to all categories that are eligible for reservations, including SC/ST.

yogi wrote:There's debate going on whether to introduce reservations in promoting persons to higher levels in public offices. What's your take on that?
I believe the case for reservations in promotions is much, much weaker than that for reservations in government employment. And the case for reservations in employment is much weaker than the case for reservations in education. Reservations in jobs made some sense at independence to correct for the lack of representation of "lower" castes in government, and government was a bigger part of the economy than it is now. But with increasing private sector role in the economy and the improved representation of "lower" castes in government, I don't see a long-term need for reservations in jobs, and much less for reservations in promotions.

but earlier you were arguing that you foresee caste based reservations continuing indefinitely. are you flipflopping because you have realized that some of your 'supporters' are hostile to caste based reservations while others are indifferent (since they are not affected by it)? Will you continue to compromise on your ideology perpetually in order to remain popular?

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by truthbetold on Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:52 pm

Ide,
with a much smaller groups identified as disadvantaged usa mandates affirmative action in private sector employment. Why is it (affirmative action) going to end in india if private sector grows larger?

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by truthbetold on Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:04 pm

I would like to gather one sentence summary of different arguments against reservations in india. I underdtand a single sentence may not capture the essence of the arguments prezented. But the one sentence can be used as the title of your argument for counter argument.

1. Reservations based on caste, religion, or region are against principles of equality under democracy.

2. Denying a merit based candidate a seat because of reservations is suidal to the development of society.

3. The historical prejudice in education against lower caste is a false argument.

4. Reservations did not help lower castes improve their economics.

5. Reservations have killed or diminished major educational institutions of india.

6. Continuing for too long created a creamy layer among lower castes.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by truthbetold on Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:28 pm

Feel free to add to my summary. Limit to one sentence per argument.

Some solutions:

1. No reservations.
2. Income based reservations.
3. Reservations with time limits.
4. Spend more on k-12 education.
5. Creamy layer exclusion.

i noticed that only two posters are supporting reservations. Each has slightly different perspective on the issue. In my view a few of the counter arguments were all ready presented. But to drive home the arguments to a better level of clarity, focus on narrow segments and present data or links to your eatlier arguments.

Quatitatively anti reservation is winning but qualitatively pro reservation is presenting a solid counter argument.


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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:41 pm

We don't have private sector reservations in India and I haven't seen a persuasive argument for them. Reservations in public sector jobs affect a smaller pool of overall jobs in the economy more than they did back in the day. Most middle class angst against reservations is focused on education, not jobs, because the middle class does not aspire for those jobs in the same way it did in my father's generation.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by truthbetold on Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:53 pm

Ide,
how can a smaller shrinking pool of jobs provide opportunity to ever growing educated lower classes? If all private jobs are swept up by a small section, how long would the majority underclass remain silent? That looks like a future social crisis.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:56 pm

truthbetold wrote:Ide,
how can a smaller shrinking pool of jobs provide opportunity to ever growing educated lower classes? If all private jobs are swept up by a small section, how long would the majority underclass remain silent? That looks like a future social crisis.
I have not seen any data to suggest that the private sector jobs are being monopolized by the non-quota castes. From what I have seen in India and here, I think well-educated people from the communities that have quotas are able to compete effectively in the private marketplace. So I don't see a persuasive argument for intervening in the private market for jobs.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:10 pm

truthbetold wrote:I would like to gather one sentence summary of different arguments against reservations in india. I underdtand a single sentence may not capture the essence of the arguments prezented. But the one sentence can be used as the title of your argument for counter argument.

1. Reservations based on caste, religion, or region are against principles of equality under democracy.

2. Denying a merit based candidate a seat because of reservations is suidal to the development of society.

3. The historical prejudice in education against lower caste is a false argument.

4. Reservations did not help lower castes improve their economics.

5. Reservations have killed or diminished major educational institutions of india.

6. Continuing for too long created a creamy layer among lower castes.

truthbetold wrote:Feel free to add to my summary. Limit to one sentence per argument.

Some solutions:

1. No reservations.
2. Income based reservations.
3. Reservations with time limits.
4. Spend more on k-12 education.
5. Creamy layer exclusion.

i noticed that only two posters are supporting reservations. Each has slightly different perspective on the issue. In my view a few of the counter arguments were all ready presented. But to drive home the arguments to a better level of clarity, focus on narrow segments and present data or links to your eatlier arguments.

Quatitatively anti reservation is winning but qualitatively pro reservation is presenting a solid counter argument.

As I see it, there are two logically consistent positions:

(a) Pure Meritocracy: No matter what that implies for social equity -- do not rob Peter to pay Paul, treat all students equally despite the relative disadvantages that some students have compared to others.

(b) Level the Playing Field: Provide assistance to disadvantaged students in order to level the playing field. Instead of treating class 12 grades or AIR as the ultimate determinant of relative merit, account for the relative disadvantages faced by poorer children.

I prefer Level the Playing Field, but I can see where the proponents of Pure Meritocracy are coming from. Any argument for equality has an intrinsic appeal with its ideological purity. My counter to the proponents of Pure Meritocracy is threefold:
1. Such a society will deepen social divisions and foster instability.
2. Such a system is not truly a meritocracy if you define merit not as class 12 grades or All India Rank in the JEE, but as inherent intelligence or talent.
3. The fundamental premise of this argument -- non-interference in a private market -- can also be used to argue against any and all government programs including things like social security and food stamps in the US, and the TPDS and poverty relief programs in India.

If you do support Level the Playing Field, it is clear from my original post that a caste-based system is more effective than an income-based system. I have not seen a single counter-argument to that core point I laid out.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by Idéfix on Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:13 pm

Seva Lamberdar wrote:The 'logic' behind caste based quotas in education and jobs is silliness and lack of clear understanding.

The caste based quotas imply that people who work using their hands (including in farming, smithy, carpentery, leather work and cleaning of clothes and roads etc., as reflected by the caste label) are deprived, needing help from Govt. in education / training etc. to get away from that kind of work, no matter how important it might be to the society.

This type of nutty thinking in public policy is unique to India and has had quite a negative impact.

The agriculture has suffered in the country.
The proper construction and maintenance of infrastructure (e.g. public roads, streets and buildings etc.) is hardly there. The rubbish lies all around. Above all, the caste based quotas officially imply that the manual work (as indicated by the caste label) is no good and the Govt. will provide help in getting away from it.

So much for the logic behind caste based quotas.
There's some nutty thinking in there alright.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:00 pm

let's level the playing field to include frog faced wussy iyer boys in the NFL. honk if you want to see poonulfied linebackers.

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Re: The logical case for caste-based reservations

Post by truthbetold on Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:02 pm

Idéfix wrote:
truthbetold wrote:Ide,
how can a smaller shrinking pool of jobs provide opportunity to ever growing educated lower classes? If all private jobs are swept up by a small section, how long would the majority underclass remain silent? That looks like a future social crisis.
I have not seen any data to suggest that the private sector jobs are being monopolized by the non-quota castes. From what I have seen in India and here, I think well-educated people from the communities that have quotas are able to compete effectively in the private marketplace. So I don't see a persuasive argument for intervening in the private market for jobs.
This is just my opinion. Private sector employment is highly lopsided with higher castes occupying very large % of opportunities. Scsts are well represented in large public sector institutions and leftover scs number may be too small to be a ptoblem. As indian growth moderates and private sector grows, this demand will rise again.

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