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Can this committee end the quota deadlock?

By George Iype
May 29, 2006 18:37 IST
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Nearly a month after students -- primarily led by resident doctors and medical students -- began an indefinite strike against the new reservation policy, the Union government on Monday set up a 13-member Oversight Committee to resolve the reservation deadlock.

The Committee, headed by senior Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister M Veerappa Moily, will study the implementation of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions and requirements for increasing seats without reducing the number in the general category.

The Reservation Issue

The Committee includes seven experts from the fields of education and research and five secretaries in the central government belonging to various ministries like Human Resource Development, Health and Family Welfare, Agriculture and Finance.

Who are the seven experts on the Oversight Committee? A primer:

Bhalchandra Mungekar

Dr Mungekar, one of India's leading agricultural economists, is currently a member of the Planning Commission.

He is the founder president of the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Social and Economic Change. He has served on several official committees at the national and state levels, and his contributions to economics and sociology have spanned several professional journals, monographs and books.

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As a member of the Planning Commission, Dr Mungekar looks after education, labour and employment, tribal affairs and social justice.

Raghunath Anant Mashelkar

Dr Mashelkar is director general, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, and Secretary, Department of Scientific & Industrial Research.

Over the years, he has successfully led the process of the transformation of CSIR, the nation's premier scientific organisation, which manages 38 laboratories and 22,000 employees. CSIR is today one of the largest chains of industrial R&D labs in the world.

Dr Mashelkar has played a pivotal role in framing India's national S&T policies in the post liberalisation era. He has also contributed widely to restructuring and reforms in education, S&T institutions and industry, through the several committees he has chaired.

He set up the National Innovation Foundation to acknowledge and reward grassroot innovators. As one of India's foremost chemical engineers, Dr Mashelkar has made path-breaking contributions in polymer science and engineering and in the engineering analysis of non-Newtonian fluids.

Sukhadeo K Thorat

Professor Thorat is chairman of the University Grants Commission, which provides funds and supervises the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards in institutions of higher education.

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He has been on the faculty of the Centre for the Study of Regional Development at Jawaharlal Nehru University since 1980 and has been a consultant to the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC.

His areas of research include agricultural development, rural poverty, institution and economic growth, problems of marginalised groups such as Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, economics of the caste system, caste discrimination and poverty, human development and human rights issues.

R A Yadav

Dr Yadav is vice-chairman, All India Council for Technical Education, the national apex advisory body which conducts a survey on the facilities on technical education in the country.

He has been actively involved in management education, training, research and consultancy for 32 years. His main areas of interest are corporate restructuring, corporate turnarounds, management of banks and financial institutions, financial engineering, risk management, venture capital and strategic management.

His books include Management & Monitoring of Industrial Sickness; Managing Corporate Turnaround and Financial Ratios and the Prediction of Corporate Failure.

Dr Yadav is A recipient of the European Commission Fellowship and has been a visiting professor at Katholieke University, Leuven, Belgium, and a senior faculty member at the Northern India Bank Staff Training College, Delhi.

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He is also the editor-in-chief, Indian Journal of Finance and Research.

N K Ganguly

Professor Ganguly is the director general, Indian Council of Medical Research, the apex medical research body in the country.

A specialist in infectious diseases and biotechnology, Dr Ganguly has more than 530 research papers and many books to his credit.

He has also been director-in-charge, National Institute of Biological Sciences, Director, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and President, National Academy of Medical Sciences.

He is a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, President, International Lancefield Society for Streptococcal Diseases.

G Mohan Gopal

Professor Gopal is the former vice-chancellor, National Law School, Bangalore.

'We can't build a nation with 19th century mindset'

He has argued before that the Indian legal system is on conceptual foundations and institutional frameworks that arise from the diverse and pluralist traditions of our country.

He is a member of several education committees that various state governments like Kerala and Karnataka have set up on studying issues related to reservation and higher education.

He was also the chief counsel, East Asia and Pacific, in the legal department at the World Bank in Washington, DC. Dr Gopal has also served as counsel in the Office of the General Counsel, Asian Development Bank in Manila, from 1983 to 1986.

R V Vaidyanatha Ayyar

Dr Ayyar retired as Union culture secretary, Government of India.

he has headed several committees that suggested measures especially in social reform areas.

He was a member of the Advisory Panel on 'promoting literacy, generating employment, ensuring social security and poverty alleviation.'

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George Iype