While the North is seeing anti-reservation protests waged by students on the streets, the South -- which has over 50 per cent reservation in educational institutions -- has been quiet.
rediff.com spoke to some final year MBBS students at the Tuticorin Medical College, Tamil Nadu, about what they thought of the quota system and the agitation in other parts of India.
In between their duty at the government hospital, they spoke to A Ganesh Nadar.
I entered medical college through the most backward category quota but I do not support reservation at the post graduation level.
We come from different backgrounds. What we need is better training at the lower level. At the undergraduate level there is reservation. Once we are in college we are equals. These equals should not be separated. We study the same syllabus and questions in the postgraduate entrance exams are the same for all of us.
There is no need for reservation. Merit should be the only criteria.
I entered medical college through merit. I belong to the forward class. Just to get an undergraduate seat I suffered a lot. It wasn't easy. The reservation policy doesn't serve those who really need it.
The knowledge we acquire here is the same for all of us. There should be no reservation at the postgraduate level. Suppose there are 1,000 seats at the undergraduate level, at the post graduate level there will only be a hundred seats.
As it is there are not enough seats, then how can you provide reservation and make it scarcer. In this college I am the only student in my batch from the forward class.
They are talking about raising the number of seats. But before that they should build up infrastructure. They should train more teachers.
I got into medical college through the backward class quota. There should be reservation in the premier institutes.
The forward classes are more talented than us. You will find a lot of them in the premier institutes already. Here they score much higher marks than us. By the time I read two pages, they can read ten more pages. Their capacity to learn and understand is better than mine.
'It's stupid to suggest that OBC's are inferior'
Once we get into the premier institute we will manage the same way as we are managing here.
I belong to the backward caste category but I got this seat on merit. I believe in the quota system the backward class has an advantage. Reservation is needed at this level. But once we enter medical college we all study together. There are no separate classes for each category. We are taught the same syllabus and share all facilities. We are equals here.
I feel there should be no reservation at the post graduation level. It will only serve to further divide the student community.
I entered medical college through the quota system. I belong to the most backward category. Village students are always at a disadvantage as compared to city students. They have no exposure. Thus they need reservation to tide over this disadvantage.
Coaching classes and language skills give city students a distinct advantage. Even at the post graduate levels we need reservation to get the exposure that we need.
I belong to the backward class and got admission into this medical college through the quota system. But I do not feel we need the quota system at the postgraduate level.
Here we all get the same treatment and study the same thing. Premier institutes should maintain their quality. Even teachers are more enthusiastic when the students are bright. Otherwise they too will lose interest.
I belong to the backward class and entered medical college through reservation. I firmly believe that there should be reservation at the post graduation level in premier institutes. Students will be benefited and the institute is not going to lose anything.
The Reservation Issue: Complete Coverage
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar