A 11-year old Indian-American girl was denied admission to an elite public school in New York because of a race-based quota system that was established in 1974 following a federal court order.
Nikita Rau's Indian descent came in the way of her entry into the Mark Twain School in Coney Island, an institution that attracts gifted students, as being a minority student meant attaining a higher cut-off mark in the admission test.
"I feel bad because I would have gotten in if I were white," Nikita said. The education officials agreed that it was unfair but said they had no choice but to follow the court order until it is overturned.
The quota system was originally meant to boost the enrolment of minorities. The judge had allocated 60 per cent seats to the whites and 40 per cent to the minority students.
The racial quota was established to achieve desegregation but Nikita's father Anjan Rau, a Brooklyn resident who came to the US from India in 1982, said the situation has changed much since then.
"The country believes in racial equality and we should not face this in America," he told the New York Post.
The family said it was shocked when they found that the school had denied admission to Nikita who scored a 79 in the admission test, when white students with lower scores were admitted and they were considering a possible legal remedy.
Nikita as also her parents are US citizens.
She was classified as minority and needed a score of 84.4 to be accepted but white students with score of 77 were admitted.