Within months of Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal announcing that the 15 new Central Universities that were started in 2009 would be established as ‘benchmarks of excellence’ and recruit students on the basis of an All India exam,he has encountered protests from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.
The CM has demanded that 50 per cent seats be reserved for rural students in Tamil Nadus new Central University. The minister,however,is learnt to have responded in the negative when he visited Chennai recently. He even drove home the point in the Rajya Sabha on Monday when DMK MPs brought it up during the discussion on the Amendment to the Central Universities Bill 2009.
Any reservation will dilute the very concept of merit. The new Central Universities are planned as benchmarks of excellence,centres of research and intellectual wealth creation. They will be research centric,come with semester system,and recruit the best through an All-India entrance exam. We cannot dilute merit by reservation, Sibal said in the Rajya Sabha. He was responding to DMK MP Vasanthi Stanleys who sought to remind the Minister about Karunanidhis request for 50 per cent reservation during the discussion.