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Us College Admission Scandal: Is India's Meritocracy Based Approach Better?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Greenbay, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. Greenbay

    Greenbay Gold IL'ite

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    From last 2 weeks, the US college admission scandal has been in the forefront of print and social media.
    The scandal unearthed how several wealthy parents were involved in bribing university coaches and test proctors to get their kids into some of the top schools. Also the best kept secret that many rich parents have historically used and continue to 'buy' seats through 'donation' route.

    My wife works in one of the well known universities as Assistant Professor, so naturally this has been one the topics I want to discuss with her in details but she has been too busy with grading/classes etc along with handling busy family life due to our twins.

    India too has donation model or capitation fee model who didn't get through due to entrance scores or GPAs but wealthy parents can't get their offspring into top notch schools like IITs/IIMs/IISc in science/technology/mgmt, AIIMS/JIPMER/CMC etc in medical , so in my opinion, poor students but who are good in studies and are capable of getting seats on their own fare better in India's type admission and not feel cheated.

    What are your thoughts?
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    Indian meritocracy based approach minus reservations - maybe better.

    This is my take based on experience, observation and reading news stories about kids of rickshaw puller, autorickshaw driver, janitor etc. making it to top colleges in India or ranking high in IAS:

    The competition in India is very intense, the required scores are crazy high, and the number of seats are limited. Some poor students can get a seat in a good college, but the rest will languish in a degree they don't care for and end up in careers they are not interested in. A poor student would mostly need a teacher or other mentor who sees the potential in him/her and supports him.

    OTOH, in the U.S. there are so many options for poorer students who are academically bright enough. In high school itself, there are so many opportunities, internships, grants available to kids from poor families, under-represented groups and what not. Then, there is need-based scholarship. The biggest point in favor of the U.S. is that for any major, education from any top 100 or even top 150 college will be a good starting point.

    The entrance exams for undergrad in the U.S. are not so do or die with one attempt each year like in India. And there are options like community college --> four year college. These are not popular among Asian Americans but remain a very attractive route. Public universities often have a charter to admit students from community college, so admission through that route is often less competitive, including to some top 20 public universities in the U.S.

    All that being said, Indian parents who live in the U.S., are affluent and are currently evaluating college choices or waiting to hear from the last few colleges... and see that their child's profile (male, Asian American, upper middle class, from competitive school district in Asian dominated neighborhood) goes against him, will certainly wish at times that admission was based solely on 2-3 scores like it was for them 25-30 years ago in India.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  3. MalStrom

    MalStrom Platinum IL'ite

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    As long as the reservation system remains in place college education in India will be messed up. There are such few seats in the non-capitation colleges for the sheer number of students that even the very bright will be left without unless they have money.
     
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  4. Greenbay

    Greenbay Gold IL'ite

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    MalStrom, Do you really want to bring India’s reservation based seat allocation for comparison? I and my sisters belong to so called forward caste but from very low economic strata while growing up. We didn’t feel that India’s system was holding us back to get college seat. We got quality education at very affordable cost as well. In US, income based scholarships are given by many universities but the criterion is more stringent and not just based on SAT or ACT scores or purely based on GPA.
    Rihana,
    Reservation in education is very much needed in country like India to bring the marginalized communities up.
    This lady’s reasoning in just a short video is much better than long essays.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  5. shravs3

    shravs3 Finest Post Winner

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    Very true but it should be only for BPL irrespective of caste and creed. Had many friends from backward castes who are rich and they where misusing the reservation system. They where getting certificates to show that they belong to SC/ST even if not
     
  6. Sunshine04

    Sunshine04 Platinum IL'ite

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    Well India still has reservations for minorities, sc st.
    Reservations should be given just for 1 to 2 generations.
    When I was studying engineering, minorities way behind me in ranks got better colleges and branches.
    The families who already have benefitted from reservations only are getting benefited in future generations.
    Very poor sc sts don't even finish school to use reservations.
     
  7. Sunshine04

    Sunshine04 Platinum IL'ite

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    I too saw the same with minorities
     
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  8. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    If discussing meritocracy and and comparing the college admissions nightmare of two countries, then, yes India's reservation based seat allocation and case against Harvard by Asian Americans, all need to be brought into the discussion.

    Anecdotal evidence --> all izz well? You and your siblings got quality education. Great. How many deserving backward caste and forward caste did not get? The sheer number of students who achieve over 95 or 96% versus the number of seats available is the question. Not whether you got quality education or a poor kid aced the IIT mains last year.

    Reservations are needed or not is a separate discussion. Point is that (meritocracy based) education in India is messed up due to the number of students interested in a seat, and reservation adds to that mess.
     
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  9. MalStrom

    MalStrom Platinum IL'ite

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    My understanding is that the reservation system in India has only become worse since the time I went to college in the nineties. My brother and I managed to study without my parents having to pay donations which they could not have afforded anyways. But even back then I knew of many bright students who had to compromise on their choice of studies or attend evening college because they missed the admissions by a fraction of a point.
    There should be reservations based on economic circumstances which will offer opportunities to those that would not otherwise be able to study. But I do not believe that a caste-based reservation system is correct, regardless of where it takes place.
     
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  10. MalStrom

    MalStrom Platinum IL'ite

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    There was one student who would taunt us for studying so hard in school saying he would get his choice of seat without having to put in so much effort. This student was from a prosperous family and it was frankly infuriating to hear at the time.
     
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