Any wonder private sector hates reservations?

The mention of “social inclusion” invokes a yawn in many people but this infographic accompanying a story on the first-ever caste census of corporate India’s human resources, in The Indian Express, shows why it should not.

The proportion of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe employees in the private sector, it shows,  does not reflect the SC/ST population in many of India’s most industrialised States, according to a CII survey.

Karnataka, where SC/STs comprise 22.8 per cent of the State’s population, is able to give a job to only nine per cent of them, leaving a gap of 13.9 per cent. The gap is lowest in Tamil Nadu: 2.1%. Andhra Pradesh has a gap of 5.7% and Kerala, has more SC/STs in the private sector than their share in the population and therefore a -3.26% gap.

Infographic: courtesy The Indian Express

Also read: Should there be reservations in private sector?

Are yesterday’s Brahmins today’s Dalits?

Just 4% of population but 7 Brahmins in Indian XI?

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38 Responses to “Any wonder private sector hates reservations?”

  1. Manav Says:

    In my opinion the basis of the graph is wrong. You cannot compare people in industry vs. the population number.

    Example.
    If I am to compare the software engineers, I have to compare it against the people complete BTech degree. And not the general population.

    Saying Software industry has only 7% SC when their population is 14% is illogical. Industry cannot take the non BTech SC people.

    A more meaningful comparison will be Software Industry has 7% SC while their graduation number is 10%.

    One more reason is that Reserved category people are more willing to ‘own up’ their category when studying etc, because of benefits attached. They are not willing to own up their reserved status if they are working in private sector (probably because of stigma attached)

  2. Basavangudi Baddihaida Says:

    Another useless piece here. Unless we come out of Caste, Religion and Regional boundries, we will never succeed. Why re-publish these kind of articles?

  3. abhijeet Says:

    Can’t agree more with Manav (1st commenter)

  4. karihaida Says:

    Hmm, how about doing a caste survey of prison population, gov’t officials accused of corruption etc etc …

  5. Murali Says:

    I dont understand why these kind of surveys are conducted.. totally useless. isn’t it wrong to expect corporates to hire based on caste.. how can they be mandated to hire maintaining same caste ratio as society inside a company?

  6. Murthy Says:

    survey shows how bosses can hire a few crude and loyal people in name of SC/STs and get away with the questioning ones in TN.

    It surprising to know how MH and DL have less SC/STs than the rest as also apart from Kerala and MP rest maintain a constant 20-30% !!!
    It was also hilarious to hear the Meena Gurjar’s fights in Rajastan where 80% were deemed to become SC/ST’s – this survey reduces it to around 30%!!

    Quite a rare kind of numerical socialism.

  7. twistleton Says:

    It is a very simplistic conclusion. Exactly what kind of corporates exist in different states? What do you mean by work-force? Are you saying that out of a 20% population 17% are qualified to be employed by corporates? Really? In what capacity are they employed? How many of them are managers, project heads, CEOs?

    With our abysmal education statistics this is a study very hard to believe.

  8. ajay Says:

    Job is given based on capacity, talent and requirement. Not as per population ratio. So, this statistics is useless.

  9. Nagaraj Says:

    If this is taken as a statistic, it is simply information. If it is used for anything more than that, it is a danger to India’s social and consequently the economic fabric.

    We can never aspire for developed nation status unless we go beyond reservation based on religion, caste, language, etc.

    I can give you a beautiful example – Malaysia. They had a generous mix of population – Malays, Chinese, Indians and others. Malays are around 64% of the population, Chinese around 26% and Indians 8%. Yet, they chose to have reservation for the majority Malays in all sectors. Malays get big tax breaks and many other benefits. They saw everyone else as outsiders or temporary residents.

    They dictated the official language to be Malay and the official Malay religion to be Islam, though others could practice different religions.

    This is a very short sighted policy. It worked at first because the Chinese and Indians are far more competitive, the reservation allowed the more backward Malays to come up. Unfortunately this led to a very mediocre society. Today everyone who is anyone is Malay. Large numbers of hard working and intelligent Chinese and Indians left the country and are still leaving.

    Compare with their neighbour Singapore. They split from Malaysia in 1965. Theirs is a small country and they knew they could not survive unless they are run like a well managed private company. Meritocracy was implemented. No special reservation was given to any race. Every benefit was given to those who showed promise. Today they can claim to be a developed country starting from nearly nothing forty years ago while Malaysia had it all but they are now still plodding along, trying to be an also-ran.

    I see India has the same fate. We go with our increasing reservations. Anyone who can leave the country is leaving. Why are all of our intelligent IIT-ians and IISc-ians and other brilliant students all choose to leave? Tell me who on earth wants to work in the government sector today?

    We are chasing these intelligent chaps out of the country with our blatantly unjust policies and totally corrupt systems.

  10. Vikram Hegde Says:

    @ Manav,
    Sir, I agree with your 14% and 10% logic. But then if we take a holistic view at all the problems faced by the SCs then isn’t it relevant to say that even the fact that only 10% graduates are SC when their population is 14%?

    @Churumuri and Indian Express
    It would be better if this survey took into account the positions in which these people worked. The private sector cannot claim even these modest employment ratios if it turns out that most of these people are serving at the low paying D group/ Unskilled posts in these companies.

    However if the reverse is seen and we see that the few SC people who work in corporates are all top honchos and there are no SCs at the mid level or lower lever, it means that our affirmative action policy is giving a large unfair advantage to a small creamy layer among the SCs and not really of any worth to the intended beneficiaries. I don’t have statistics to back me but from what I see generally I don’t think this is the case.

  11. Pagan Says:

    For a blog (Churumuri that is) focused on Karnataka with a SC/ST population of 22.8%, the number of articles focused on SC/ST = grand total of 11 (at least that’s what the search engine says)

    Rough calculations – blog started in March 2006. Even with a modest 0.5 posts per day, approximately 1000 posts till now. Which means 0.011% posts focused on SC/ST. You calculate the GAP.

  12. mounaprasad Says:

    Given an option GOI would make the corporate sector reserve 50% of the jobs to SC/ST for vote bank politics. If it comes to that Indian companies should move to China or some such place…

  13. B. S. Sridhar Says:

    I hope people pay attention to comments by Manav.

    I am a management professor in an American university. I have been in full support of the reservations for SC/ST, and often praise it as a model for Affirmative Action in the USA. But there has to be a “sun set” clause. The Constituent Assembly had visualized reservations as a stop gap measure, just as the Affirmative Action laws in the USA – to make amends for the past discrimination and make the competition more even. Very similar to handicapping in golf.

    I also reject the argument that all those who are selected by the private sector are meritorious candidates. Nepotism, old school ties is as rampant as ever. Having worked as Chief Personnel Manager in India, I can vouch for many such undeserving candidates from privileged castes holding positions in both private and public industry. Let us not kid ourselves that it is only the SC/STs who get special consideration.

    Of course, one can debate how long this provisions should be enforced. 20-40-60-100 years?

    Reservations are meant to create a pool of eligible candidates. As Manav asserts, the comparison should be with percentage of eligible SC/ST candidates in the pool, and not the entire population. Are we there yet?
    I am afraid, not.

    It is in the best interests of the SC/ST citizens (self-esteem, pride) that reservations should be gradually phased out so that they can stand shoulder to shoulder with those selected based on merit. Ultimately, in the national interests that merit scores over the reservations and nepotism.

    Do we have the political will and intellectual honesty to establish a sun set clause? Well, one can only live hoping for the best!

  14. Nagaraj Says:

    With all due respect to Prof. B.S.Sridhar, his logic is flawed. A society progresses only if meritorious people drive it forward. Reservation in any fashion is anathema to this principle.

    I am all for (nearly) unlimited economic, educational and vocational support for the underprivileged, and I’m willing to let my tax money pay for this. Ideally this should never be based on caste, religion or language.

    Since I live in the real world, not a dream world, I am completely against the flawed system now because it is today nothing more than vote bank politics. “I will give you more reservation, vote for me”. Mark my words, there will never be a “sunset” clause for today’s reservation in India because people are so used to reservation, it is treated as a fundamental right, you will have riots if reservation is rolled back, and the political parties want more votes not less.

  15. Manav Says:

    When I commented on the article as the first commentator, I never thought this would evoke so many passionate responses.

    In particular @Sridhar. Sir you have got it perfect.

    I would like to quote two examples faced personally.

    1. During my graduation days, the reservation topic was quite new and was taken up as the topic for debate in english class. There I related a story, by comparing myself with an SC/ST student. I was from a poor family, which ran only on my dad’s income. I studied throughout on scholarship in school. I took tuition classes for my fellow students, who lent me books etc for my studies. My criteria for selecting the IIT I choose was fees. I compared myself with a SC/ST student who was from Delhi. His father was big shot police office (thanks to reservation). He had everything he needed from birth to succeed. Yet, he needed crutches of reservation to reach the IIT. If this is not reverse discrimination, I don’t what is.

    2. Another story relates to how reservation leads to mediocrity. One of SC/ST students was not good in studies in my engineering days. I was good friends with him. He told me, his objective was not to study hard or to get good marks. His only objective was to get passing marks in college. If he graduates with even the lowest percentage, a job is guaranteed. The government was planning to give reservations in promotions also. So his rise was also assured. With everything assured, do you think he had any reason to study hard and strive for something?

  16. twistleton Says:

    Way to go Sridhar!

    In India discrimination cannot be eliminated – numbers are our greatest enemy. And affirmative action is not supported by social and cultural measures to integrate the marginalised into the mainstream. That is why the upper castes will continue to react hysterically to reservation instead of actually understanding the social ramifications of the same.

    ***

    And that is why the question of a sun-set clause at this point does not arise.

  17. dinesh Says:

    It is not numbers, what the SC people do is very important?
    are they doing the white collar or menial jobs? how are they treated at work place? In my state TN,people are still discriminated by caste in villages. What kind of statistics is this?

  18. Srikanth K S Says:

    Nagraj’s comment (@19 January 2011 at 8:43 pm) is precise. Right from the days of Vishveshwaraiah, we have been making choice ‘for’ reservation. We talk about social justice and equality, and say if reservation is the solution, then the implementation should have been like “well managed private company”.

    As noted in the other comments, the flipside is ‘mediocrity’ and unfortunately neither IITs, IIMs nor IISc is an exception (due to reservation against merit). With our politicians being busy with vote-bank politics based on caste (and therefore no time line about how long the reservation is to be provided)or corruption, where is a coherent plan or approach that takes us to some quality stuff? And somewhere we see a trickle, dual citizenship for Indian diaspora. This is virtually like driving them out and then trying to lure them in, when you start feeling the globalization heat.

    An example that I am closely associated with: This student is a ‘general’ candidate. Being talented and trying to forget the events like ones manav mentioned at (20 January 2011 at 10:02 am), he tries to aim for PhD entrances. Most of his pals from non-general category get easy seats though being less talented. Going to an university abroad is a better avenue for the student. Now, where is the state caring for the individual? This is the story with many, just look at the accomplished Indian scientists at US alone.

  19. the colonel Says:

    i belong to the economicaly crippled. we are afghani sikhs. we have come up the hard way. no reservations and we never asked for any.

    as far as the sunset clause: bihar has shown the way.

    the language/custom/tradition divide is meaningless and only adds to the hot air.

    the losers will always have someone else to blame.

    affirmative action has been practised by a minority of people and will be the bedrock of progress.

    lets go ahead by personal example.

    india will take a long time, we have shown a lot of progress, we have avoided a lot of pitfalls.

    most will continue to dig deeper the holes they are trapped in, due to total mental/spiritual lethargy

  20. Murthy Says:

    Reservation today has nothing to do with its original intent. It is 99% vote-bank politics, and it is intentional. Its formalisation was spearheaded by the Mandal commission which in itself was based on flawed presumptions and flawed goals right from the start. When Moraji Desai and B.P.Mandal started work on it, their intent was to identify castes/classes which were socially, educationally and economically backward. Sounds fair? Yes?

    However, this very process assumed *ALL* people in certain castes were “forward” and other castes were “backward”. Based on their studies, they recommended blanket reservation for everyone in SC/SC/OBC/MBC/BC categories.

    This process legalised racial discrimination and codified it in the laws of the country today. You find a large number of the reserved seats going to people who are rather well off, many of them are MLA and MP’s children, sons of businessmen and traders and so on.

    The unfortunate end effect is that the truly backward people – those who were supposed to be uplifted by these reservations – those who are poor and lack education and access to resources are benefited very little or not at all.

    The flip side is a very sad story most people overlook. There are several “forward caste” people who are poor or are from rural areas. I know many. They are truly squashed by these policies because they cannot pay donations to get into those “donation colleges”, nor can they compete in open categories because of the intense training available to the better-off city dwellers.

    I can go on in more detail, but to cut it short, the intent of the affirmative action policies in India may have been good, but from the very start the assumptions and goals were completely flawed and it has played right into the hands of the politicians who are never going to stop exploiting it for political gain. I can say truly that reservation is among the worst evils we have in India today, and this mediocrity of expectations and “chalta-hai / adjust-maadi” attitude is instrumental in the top-to-bottom corruption in the nation.

  21. twistleton Says:

    Srikanth

    If you represent “quality” then I’ll choose mediocrity any day.

  22. sheela Says:

    Caste matters in the Indian media
    http://svaradarajan.blogspot.com/2006/06/caste-matters-in-indian-media.html

  23. Sanjeeva Says:

    In India, reservation is used as a vote bank politics and not for the upliftment of the affected people. This is a well known fact, which even the SC/ST and others know this. Further, successive governments at centre and states are simply following the divide and rule policy of British in a different way. After SC/ST came OBC, BC, MBC and now minorities, women. I am sure, ways will be found to continue this trend, divide, sub-divide……. Why not a survey be conducted as to find out the effect of reservation among the SC/STs. And as far as the title “Any wonder private sector hates reservations” is concerned, it would be interesting and worthwhile to know whether the private sector does really ‘hate’ and if so why. And why not reservations in every field? … Sports, Cabinet, Films etc. where more income is involved, which will help in faster socio-economic progress of the affected.

  24. poli huduga Says:

    Screwing up the one good thing that successive government has accomplished – i.e. no reservations in the private sector – is a matter of time.

    Just give people like twistleton to work their magic and destroy us from the inside…

    And when quality drops – esp IT/BPO – customers will vote with their wallets and go to China and the Philippines.

  25. apoorva Says:

    caste matters in Indian media
    http://sampadakeeya.blogspot.com/2011/01/blog-post_21.html

  26. isotot Says:

    People come up with _STATISTICS_ to prove *ANYTHING*, 14% of people know that! – Homer S

  27. Tarlemaga Says:

    Let me take an example of our own Bengaluru based Software Company Infosys. All the Unit Heads of this company are Brahmins. The lower and middle rung managers are all Brahmins.

    In such a situation even merit is blurred. Injustice metted against the lower caste is systemically created for last 5000 years and it continues. It is the worst form of aparthied in the country.

    IIT’s,IIM’s are again turned into temples for this forward castes who basically live out of the Indian tax payer money and rush out. The press is again dominated by the forward castes. it is unfortunate that intellectual plundering is taking place in this country

  28. Vinayak Says:

    @Tarlemaga, 24 Jan, 2.58am:
    Are you serious? Infosys hires people on merit, just like other private sector IT companies. The people in those positions you talk about are there because of their capability and skill.
    Please tell me you are joking. Your anger against your perceived pro-brahmin bias is no better than the reservation system discussed here.

  29. Aloknath Says:

    @Tarlemaga
    “IIT’s,IIM’s are again turned into temples for this forward castes who basically live out of the Indian tax payer money and rush out”

    As far as I know, admission to IITs and IIMs is one of the toughest things for anyone and can only be achieved through hard work. I am not aware of any forward caste person cheating his/her way into IIT or IIM. Are you suggesting that the exams are somehow rigged to help the forward caste?

    @All:
    Pardon my ignorance, but I’d definitely like an example where reservation has helped any community to rid itself of poverty, illiteracy and other social evils. All I can see is that the “backward” caste tend to remain backward in order to enjoy the fruits of reservation and political favoritism.

  30. Shrinidhi Hande Says:

    Reservation can be given at education level so that everyone gets adequate skills… when it comes to job, one should get it based on merits and skills, not caste.

    Also need a survey to assess how much the backward casts have come forward in past 60 years…

  31. Manish Shah Says:

    @All:
    People have so biased and limited view and call themselves educated. When a marketing manager will device marketing strategy he will segment on basis of income, small packets have come to serve poor people , so making them consumer is not bad for companies but hiring them is the problem. And people leave country because they just want to leave and the corruption or reservation is no reason for leaving,this is stereotyping.
    Education transforms people, so if someone have got to system through reservation he should also get changed but if he or she is not then its problem with education system. Why IIT has devised system which can understand by few and not by all. Problem lies within.we cant see Dalit growing, we cant give them space ,we dont want to give them good education and good job so they remain dalit and we can go on saying that merit is important when not give equal rights to nourish merit in SC/ST people.
    ————————————————————Look inside yourself.

  32. Tamilkani Balan Says:

    I would like to raise a question to those who are against reservation in private sector. Are these Schedule Caste applicants gonna be placed in the top position of the companies with this reservation. They would get placed at the basic level where as only by delivering their best potential they would reach heights. Also, do you think all the other non-dalit employees who had been selected on merit does not do any errors or mistakes at workplace and performs intellectual work.

    When a dalit is given an opportunity to enroll in prestigious educational institutions he is getting explored to such an environment and only by building his capability he could complete his education. Sameway, only by giving an opportunity in private sector one can prove himself in the industry. Moreover, English speaking is not the only eligible criteria to prove one’s potential.

  33. Indian Says:

    @all: first of all, No words on what to say to combine 2 census which are 10 years apart! This clearly shows the intention for vote bank rather than true care for backward society.

    I am from uppercaste(but poor) family. I remember days when our family used to drink water and sleep as we had no money to buy food. I still remember when i couldnt attend second year of my engineering college for a month as i had no money to pay fees. Failed to get education loan as it required some security which i couldnt provide. where as friends in my college you had got from reservation were very well affluent, used to come in there own bikes.

    But i worked hard and got job in private sector(public sector reserved only for SC/ST/OBC and ppl who can offer enough bribes for remaining jobs), Now you want to take even this only opportunity for higher caste low income group? isnt in inhuman?

    Its very hard to believe from my personal experience(if you have different experience, you are most welcome to have your own view) that all ppl belonging to one caste are rich and all others are poor.

    Reservations is welcome if its just monetary help without quota and targets only lower income group. What is the logic behind the argument that X% of population is X caste and hence X % of industry to be reserved for them?

    @Tamilkani Balan : Have you attended any interviews in private? do they ask your caste before selecting you? its easy to be pro-reservations as it gives you lots of support from ppl. But its difficult to be realistic. when you pass out of say engineering college, you are already 23-24 years of age, You still need reservations to get into IT company like infosys? all life you have got reservations, till when you need reservations in your life, 30? 40? 50? 80? 100?

  34. raaj Says:

    Please go through the Book Preferential Discrimination by Mark Gallentur

  35. paciFier Says:

    @Indian, you are an exception. Within your 3rd degree of separation, you will find a billionaire. Also, there are plenty of your caste, cash-rich mutts with barrage of facilities & incentives to care of people like you.

    What we are discussion is for those people who are in your kind of plight by rule than exception.

    .

  36. harkol Says:

    Looks like this thread got woken up after a year!

    Reservation has proven to be a poor tool to uplift the downtrodden. What it is doing is creating a perverse privileged class of creamy layer among the SC/ST, OBC who always end up cornering the benefits available on the basis of their identity.

    What is needed is restricting the Benefits to one generation of the family, so that it isn’t perpetual. If a person has been given the reservation benefit and he has been given the chance to be part of main stream through opportunities, the same assistance of reservations shouldn’t be available to his children. They are no longer deprived of opportunities by virtue of being part of the creamy layer. This will enable us to get rid of caste based reservations within a few decades (instead of making it a perpetual discrimination system).

    But, Should economically weaker folks get help to come up in life? Certainly. On a non-discriminated basis. A poor upper caste student faces most of the same challenges a poor lower caste student faces. lack of access to good English medium school, not being able to compete for jobs that needs fluency in English etc. So, such students should certainly be provided some help. Ideally in the form of direct financial assistance.

    Reservations in Private sector jobs? If govt. can mandate RTE and court has accepted it – then the day is not far when we will have reservations in private jobs, reservation & free restaurant food, reservation in hospitals etc.!!

    Anything for votes.

  37. Reservations in the private sector: Too little or way too much? | The Contrarian Room Says:

    […] Current representation of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe in the private sector is both above and below the SC/ST population in various states. Barring Kerala and Uttrakand, SC/STs are mostly under-represented. (Source: Indian Express). […]

  38. paciFier Says:

    Apart from minimal reservation in private sector (so that society is equally represented in decision process), there must a compulsory post reserved for under-privileged in all executive boards of private companies. This legislation will be step closer to bring the marginalized sector to mainstream.

    .

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