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Rajiv Gandhi’s views on meritocracy

Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India between 1985 to 1989, in a talk with Dileep Padgaonkar, said, Today the major challenge for the nation is rapid development. If the nation does not move ahead at the fastest possible pace, it is going to miss-out on global changes that are taking place. If we are not on the scene as a major player, very soon we will not be a player at all…Hence rapid development. Common wisdom is that you get meritocracy in all the right places and then everything will work well. Meritocracy does not belong to particular groups. The idea that it belongs to certain groups creates social tensions. It is the duty of the Government to bring more and more people out of their economic, social and educational backwardness…Forty years ago; it may not be possible to take an alternative action. Now India has reached to the stage, when an alternative action has to be given to the disadvantaged groups to come up. It should be ensured that the gap between Reservation benefits and non-reserved quota could be minimized…To push up the percentage, economic and educational measures have to be taken…In the north, the cut off between open and reserved is very wide, while in Tamil Nadu, there is a difference of only about 2%. When people come to that sort of equality in educational terms, one can start thinking of qualifying the affirmative action, so that the really weak benefit from it. i

 

i Times of India, Dated September 2, 1990, p11.

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September 27, 2009 - Posted by | Reservation/Affirmative action program

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