Art & Culture
- Right to access internet is fundamental right declares Kerala High Court
- Legal rights of Deities in India, Difference in Natural and Juristic Person
- Bru refugees refuse to return to Mizoram
- No animal sacrifice in Tripura temple-Orders High Court
- EC’s Order on Reducing Sikkim CM’s Disqualification Period
- Law Ministry issues corrigendum to Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act
- Appointment of the Judges in India.
- New Chief Justice of India- How is CJI appointed?
- Indian Penal Code 1860, HM Amit Shah wants to Overhaul IPC
- National Population Register (NPR) 2020
- Whistle Blowers Allegations on Infosys
Governance & Social Justice
- 60% girls in Delhi colleges anaemic
- Niti aayog’s School education quality index
- Multipurpose National Identity Card
- Population pyramid : India Vs China, Demographic dividend Phase of India
- UN Population Report, India will become the most populous country by 2027
- Supreme Court upholds SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendments Act
- Comparing Population Pyramids of India and China
- Waqf boards-Their governance and purpose
- Harvard Admissions Case
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana- Ist Anniversary, Problems and solutions
- Significance of sexual and Reproductive Health-Status of reproductive services in India
- Pregnancy in Old Age, What is In Vitro Fertilisation-Risks and legal shortcomings
- Supreme Court Judgement on NGOs and RTI
- Social Stock Exchange
- Rajasthan Govt changes EWS norms, Sets Rs 8 lakh family income as only criteria
- Global hunger index 2019
- No Government job for those with more than two kids
- Ranitidine CANCER risk
- IIT Council Introduces Tenure track system
- Bangladesh growing faster than India ?
- Cyprus dispute explained
- Donald Trump impeachment
- India wins Hyderabad Nizam case against Pakistan
- India’s reply to Pakistan at UNGA
- Prime Minister of Malaysia calls India and invader in Kashmir
- Should India recognise the armenian genocide ?
- Why are CARICOM countries important for India ?
- Why are countries leaving OPEC ?
- Attacks on Saudi Oil facilities
- Organization of Islamic Cooperation issues statement on Jammu and Kashmir
- Sri Lanka’s relations with India & China
- US troops start pullout in Syria as Turkey prepares for operation
- What are Vanilla Islands?
- India-USA trade deal
- UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award-2019
- Modi – Xi Informal meet at Mamallapuram – Historic Chinese links
- India China informal summit in Tamil nadu
- Pakistan save from FATF blacklist till 2020
- USA blacklists China organisations over Uighur Muslim abuse
- Why is Chile burning ?
- Why is the Philippines important for India
- Xi jinping Nepal visit 2019 and impact on India
- India Pakistan Cross LOC Trade suspended, Should India revoke suspension?
- Protests in Lebanon
- Chennai to Vladivostok Sea Route
- End of baghdadi
- Indian government’s security advisory
- Indians no longer require Visa to visit Brazil
- Non Aligned Movement 2019 summit
- US backed Ceasefire between Turkey and Kurds
- Pakistan stops postal exchange with India
- China’s GDP growth slows to 6% slowest in 27 years
- Common Goods for Health project by WHO
- Turkey attack Kurds in Syria
- Behavioural Aspect of Farmer Suicide
- Is rural India really open defecation free ?
- Global Growth Slow Down
- Nobel Prize in Economics 2019
- Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
- SBI wrote off bad loans worth 76,000 crores
- Surge in Onion Price
- Agriculture Credit by RBI’s Internal Working Group
- What is Debt to GDP Ratio?
- Yes Bank Crisis
- Nobel prize in Literature – Controversy
- Boosting Indian Exports
- Sopore Fruit Mandi deserted
- What is Pink Collarisation?
- Mizoram to have Broad Gauge railway line by 2021
- Demand downturn in Indian Economy
- Payment facilitation fund
- Participatory Guarantee Scheme
- RBI’s 4th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy 2019-20
- Tourism restrictions lifted in Kashmir
- Link between Jobs, Farming, and Climate
- Draft Social Security Code 2019
- State Tax Revenues, SGST and Central Tax Devolution are likely to fall short
- Competitiveness Index 2019 by World Economic Forum
- NITI Aayog’s Water Resources Strategy
- BSNL and MTNL financial issues-DoT prepares Rs 74000 crore revival plan
- 20th Livestock Census
- India falls 10 ranks in World economic forum’s Global competitiveness index
- RBI stops Printing Rs 2000 Notes
- What is the Unified Approach proposal of OECD?
- FCI granaries overflowing
- India’s Economic Growth 2019
- Financial Sector Scams in India
- Labour Market of India
- New Strategic Disinvestment Process
- Payment Delays to Sugarcane Farmers
- Why India’s IMF Quota is not increased
- What is monetary policy Transmission? Why banks are not reducing interest
- Mahatma Gandhi’s theory of Economics
- India moves up 14 spots to 63 on world Bank ease of doing business index
- New amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act
- Power Sector Scenario in India
- Telecos to Pay Rs 96,642 crore to the Government
- Camel population declines in Rajasthan
- Merger of BSNL and MTNL
- World bank on Indian economy
Defence & Security
- Nagas Kukis Conflict, What is the cause of the latest tensions?
- Case against 50 Celebrities controversy
- Can Indian Government intercept WhatsApp?
- UP Government fires 25000 home guards, Is Yogi Government’s decision justified?
- NCRB’s Crime in India 2017 report
- Aadhaar Social Media mandatory linking case
- What is TechSagar? National repository of India’s cyber tech capabilities.
Science & Technology
- ISRO’S Project NETRA
- Facebook’s LIBRA Currency in trouble
- WHO launches first World report on Vision
- 2019 Nobel prize in physics
- 2019 Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine
- Elon musk’s starlink project
- NASA’s ICON mission
- New King of the Moons in the Solar system is Saturn
- What Is Spectroscopy ?
- Quantum supremacy
- Climate Vulnerable Mapping Of India
- C40 Cities
- Gujarat Unveils emission trading scheme
- Forest Plus 2.0
- Himalayan States seeks Green Bonus
- India to Phase Out Single Use Plastic (SUP) by 2022
- Role of Volcanoes in Global Warming
- NH 766 ban controversy, Protests in Kerala against night traffic ban on the forest stretch
- Climate Change needs Global Solution
- Aarey Forest -2185 trees to be cut for Mumbai metro
- Government to build 1400 km long Green wall
- Graded Response Action Plan in Delhi
- Aerosol formation brightening clouds
- Anthrax outbreak in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Two affected buffaloes died
- Species in News from June to October 2019
- Climate Action Summit 2019
Tag: GS -2||Governance & Social Justice||Human Development||Education
What is the issue?
- In 2014, a group called Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) alleged that Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants in the undergraduate admissions process.
- This case contains elements that strongly resonate with the Indian debate on reservations.
- The lawsuit claimed that Asian-Americans were held to higher standards compared to students from other races
- Illegal quota system
- It claimed that the Harvard was using an illegal quota system that informally capped the number of Asian-Americans, but gave preferential access to African-American or Latino students.
- Preferential access
- This claim was made despite the fact that Asian-Americans are roughly 6% of the U.S. population, but was 23% of the entering batch in 2018.
- In the same year, there were only about 15% African-Americans and 12% Latino students entering Harvard.
- This difference in share makes it prima facie difficult to understand their grievance.
Race as a factor to Harvard
- Diversity student Body: Harvard acknowledged that they did use race as one factor among many, mainly to ensure a diverse student body.
- Consistent with law: They claimed that their use of race was consistent with law.
- Federal District Court: In October 2019, the Federal District court ruled in favour of Harvard.
- Supreme court
- If the case goes to the Supreme Court (SC), dominated by conservative judges, there is a chance this ruling might be reversed.
- If the SC strikes down the use of race as a criterion for admissions, it would mean an end to affirmative action.
- Affirmative action: It is the practice of favouring individuals belonging to groups known to have been discriminated against previously. This term is used in the context of the allocation of resources or employment.
- This is a complicated case not just for the future of AA in the U.S., but because it has the potential to impact anti-AA sentiment everywhere.
What are the arguments?
- In favour of Harvard
- Economist David Card argued by a detailed examination of the statistical evidence.
- He investigated SFFA’s argument that Harvard was able to achieve its diversity targets through the use of a number of race-neutral admission practices.
- Card successfully demolishes the claims of the SFFA in an impressively detailed study.
- Card shows that academic achievement is only one of the requirements for determining excellence.
- In favour of SFFA
- Peter Arcidiacono, an economist, concluded by focusing solely on academic achievement.
- It shows that African-American and Latino students with lower academic scores have been admitted to higher scores at the expense of Asian-Americans.
- Card shows that the empirical analysis of Dr. Arcidiacono did not account for the overall context of the request of each candidate.
- The performance of the high school, socio-economic conditions, services and opportunities available to the student may be included in this sense.
- Harvard’s stance
- Harvard’s candidate pool is made up of candidates with excellent academic credentials and a very competitive process.
- A successful candidate cannot be identified solely on the basis of test scores to choose from this pool; non-academic factors must be considered.
- Harvard claims that they judge excellence in a variety of forms, and include students with diverse experiences, backgrounds, skills, etc.,
- This multi-dimensionality is possible when the student body is racially diverse.
- Even if SFFA wins
- If it wins this case in the SC, it might be the final nail in the coffin of AA.
- Even if AA for minorities and women is abolished, the tacit quota for the whites would stay intact in the form of legacy admissions.
- Universities justify this activity by arguing that it fosters a stable and inclusive campus and alumni culture.
- This case, however, made it clear that legacy biases benefit wealthy white students.
What is the Indian parallel?
- Reservation Policy
- In India, the fact that entry-level cut-offs are lower for students in the reserved group is seen as proof that the reservation system is ‘ anti-merit. ‘
- This leads to its corollary, i.e., it is appropriate to eliminate reservations in order to improve merit.
- Our universities should adopt a more holistic set of criteriafor admissions.
- This would reduce the excessive and unhealthy obsession with board examination scores and will reorient the admission priorities. It would also enable universities to account for various sources of disadvantage due to poor socio-economic circumstances.
- But the admissions based on marks, with allowances made for socio-economic circumstances, need not mean an automatic death of “merit”.
- The challenges in increasing access to higher education to students from deprived backgrounds are enormous.
- But these challenges are inherent in any strategy that expands access to higher education and have to be dealt with.
What is the conclusion?
- SFFA sounds disconcertingly similar to the Indian “Youth for Equality”.
- Affirmative Action or reservations in India is essentially a policy of compensatory discrimination.
- This discriminates in favour of groups that are traditionally discriminated against. E.g.: African-Americans and Latinos in the U.S.; Dalits and Adivasis in India.
- Because of historical and contemporary discrimination, these groups would typically be under-represented in formal institutions.
- In order to compensate for that, preferential policies are needed.
- Those who are against AA argue that the preferential policies are unfair and foster inequality because they use criteria other than “merit” for admissions (race in the U.S.; caste and tribal status in India).
- However, these critics must also argue against the opaque methods of entry that completely divorce it from merit, which is not the case now.
- These methods are legacy admissions (U.S.) or discretionary management quotas or donation-based admissions (India).
- Legacy admissions: Preferential admissions for students whose parents graduated from that educational institution.
Mains model question
- Do you support the removal of caste-based reservation and its replacement with income-based reservation? In the light of question on ability of reservation system to address the twin issues of poverty and development, critically comment.