Affirmative action spreads

India has just passed a law mandating affirmative action quotas for lower castes. The BBC reports: The Indian government has decided to implement a controversial affirmative action plan despite ongoing protests. Under the plan, half of state—funded professional college places would go to lower caste students. After a meeting which ended late on Tuesday night, the Congress—led Indian government announced that a bill would be introduced in parliament. The plan will come into effect in 2007. Those opposed to it say it will lead to a drop in college standards. At present, 22.5% of college places are "reserved" for Dalits, or untouchables, who are at the bottom of India's caste hierarchy, and tribal students. Under the new plan, 27% of places will also be set aside for lower caste Hindus known as other backward castes (OBCs) and other socially disadvantaged groups. "The percentage of reservation for OBCs will be fixed at 27%," Defence Pranab Mukherjee told reporters after a...(Read Full Post)