QUOTA NOTE: A second chance for Manmohan

Reservation is the last relic of the licence-quota-permit raj. Politicians and bureaucrats will not open more schools and colleges to meet the demand because that will rob them of their power and control over the voting masses. So they go for the easy option of reservations.

In 1991, by opening up the economy, Manmohan Singh could make the waiting lists for gas connections, Bajaj scooters and telephones disappear. In 2006, he can do so in education to get rid of the artificially created scarcity, says Shekhar Gupta.