The college already reserves 40 per cent seats for Christians
Now, amongst this 10 per cent of the seats will be reserved for dalit Christians
Another 40 per cent seats are reserved for general category students, 15 per cent are for SC/ST students and 5 per cent for sports
Education experts are divided over the action taken by the management of the famed St Stephens College to reserve 10 per cent of its seats for the Dalit Christian students.
Some education experts hold the view that by this initiative the underprivileged in society will get equal opportunities, a claim which another section completely rejects it by portraying it as a political stunt.
"The decision has opened the doors for the Dalits and will help remove the class differences amongst the students," said John Dayal, a well-known activist working for the upliftment of Dalit Christians.
The recent quota stir started when the college authorities announced their decision to reserve a portion of the seats for the Dalit Christian students.
According to the new policy of the college, of the 40 per cent seats reserved for Christians, 10 per cent of the seats have been reserved for Dalit Christians. The college also has 40 per cent reservations for general category students, 15 per cent for SC/ST students and 5 per cent for sports category. Members of the Christian community in Delhi have also welcomed the college decision.
"These children have not had the same opportunities in life as some of the other privileged students, so it is a huge opportunity for the dalit students and will give them a completely different experience," said Babu Joseph, spokesperson Catholic Bishop's Conference of India. Describing the reservation of seats as a political gimmick some of the education experts believe that the decision will only benefit the section of Dalit Christian students that already hail from to the privileged class.
"If the college wants to help Dalits then they should open schools for them as it common knowledge that a major portion of the dalits do not even complete school education. These reservations are nothing but political stunts to gain mileage," said JS Rajput, educationist and former director of NCERT.
Rajput further said that though reservations for SC/ST students already exist in the Delhi University, but the authorities have not managed to fill the total seats as many students do not come forward because of lack of basic education.
Another prominent educationist also spoke in favour of the decision taken by St Stephens College. "Reservations have served the society, especially SC/STs and people living in the northeastern states," said Mushirul Hasan, the vice-chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia.
"The benefits of reservations might not show immediate results but it will help remove differences between people in a few years from now," he added.