|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Ministers brainstorm for quota solution
May 18, 2006 13:13 IST
Faced with widespread protests over the volatile Other Backward Castes reservation issue, the government has set in motion an exercise to arrive at a formula to satisfy the other sections of society.
An informal group of senior ministers -- which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up on Wednesday to hold talks with political parties and academicians for evolving a comprehensive package in the wake of the anti-reservation stir crippling the healthcare services in parts of the country -- met on Thursday to thrash out a solution.
Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh were present at the meeting. Though they are not part of the group set up by the prime minister, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Health Minister Anbumani Ramdoss also attended the meeting.
Sources said the ministers deliberated on ways and means to cushion the effect of implementing the quota by increasing the intake and raising the number of institutions.
The government has already told Parliament that there was no dilution of its commitment to provide OBC quota in elite educational institutions.
The government has constituted the committee of ministers -- an informal group that is neither a Group of Ministers nor a Cabinet Committee -- realising that the task ahead is difficult and a consensus needs to be evolved ahead of the new academic year.