Jats as OBCs
A landmark judgment by the Supreme Court to scrap the Jat reservation is a step forward in moving out of the ambit of caste-centric definition of backwardness. Though caste is a prominent factor in deciding the backwardness of a class, it is important to ensure that it does not become the sole criteria. The decision to extend reservation to Jats came a day before the model code of conduct was enforced for the general elections in 2014 and was clearly a decision made in order to gain political mileage, since the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) had denied reservation to Jats in its recommendations to the then government. The ignoring of the recommendations of the NCBC also made a mockery of the statutory body. It is high time now that we evolve new practices, methods and yardsticks for extending reservation. Gates of reservation should be opened only to permit entry of the most distressed.
Abhineet Katyayan, Kangra
Early for FX rate intervention
Apropos of the column “The new exchange rate debate” (March 18), there appears to be a multiplicity of thought processes on the exchange rate strategy to be adopted from now on. RBI has always focused more on containing the volatility of exchange rate and far less on any targeted figure. As a regulator, it has to worry about maintaining a steady keel to the economy. Some economists look to China’s deliberate under-valuation of its yuan that was instrumental in growth of exports, to back a move likewise on the rupee. But China had long back got it act together on laying out support infrastructure and the grooming of its MSMEs. The booming global economy had given them a world market that had endless appetite. Our overall IIP, that was 2.9 (in FY12 ), dropped to 1.1 in FY13 and then to -0.1 in FY14. Our imports touched a new high, of $45 billion, for the month of December 2014. Thus, to leverage a lower rupee, on one hand, we do not have the goods yet to export and on the other, a weaker rupee burdens us given our higher level of imports. And finally, the state of global trade is poor. The debate on exchange rate can wait for better times, when markets are ready to take what we make.
R Narayanan, Ghaziabad
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