Should Nandan Nilekani quit Knowledge Panel?

The resignation yesterday of Pratap Bhanu Mehta, the president of the Centre for Policy Research, and Andre Beteille, the renowned sociologist, from the Knowledge Commission, protesting the UPA Government’s refusal to see the other side of the reservation issue, sparks a simple question.

Shouldn’t Nandan Nilekani, the chief executive officer of Infosys, too quit the panel that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up with great fanfare and to even greater expectations?

After all Infosys chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy has already said no to the move to hike seats in IITs/IIMs to make up for the hike in quotas. After all, Indian industry has already said no quotas in the private sector for which social welfare minister Meira Kumar yesterday set a two-year deadline.

Shouldn’t high-profile members like Nilekani quit to show that they care for merit, that they care for the striking students, that they are willing to put their money where their mouth is? Or do they like bread buttered on all sides, including the crust?

In the same vein, since six of the eight Knowledge Commisison members, including Sam Pitroda, are opposed to the reservation move, shouldn’t they quit, too, if they are intellectually honest?

ALSO SEE: Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s letter to the Prime Minister