It’s unwise to depart from meritocracy

By : |May 2, 2006 0

It is not a wise move to impose job reservations on the private sector.
Nowhere in the world has such a thing been attempted yet and for obvious

At a time when meritocracy has become the buzzword to make it big in today’s
hugely competitive marketplace, any departure from it would be unwise. A system
not based on meritocracy can never be a good, rewarding system. For us to
sustain our edge and remain the best, there is no alternative to roping in the
best and the brightest people irrespective of their social status. Merit is the
only way to sustain our growth and build further on the headway we have



It is unfortunate that the government and the corporate mandates are so
different. But at least the motto that whatever we produce has to be the best in
the world should provide a meeting ground for the two. If the government pushes
for reservation, customers are bound to back off. They have huge expectations
from India because they believe they are getting the best capability and the
best minds are here. It would be myopic to think of the repercussions for the
private sector alone. This would impact the country as a whole. If it does come
to living with that, companies like ours would have to make extra investments
and exercise greater caution to take on these challenges. They could respond by
settling for things that can be done by a broad mix of people. But this would
greatly retard job creation in the country and stunt individuals who thrive on
challenges. It would be unrealistic to expect them to carry on with the same
excitement and vigour that brought us to the present high.

Helping the under-privileged ought to be about boosting their competencies
and capabilities by way of providing them with education and opportunities to
hone their skills so that they can better stand the test of competition. While
the move would certainly be disappointing from a company perspective, it would
send out the wrong signals at the country level. The private sector is more than
willing to reason it out with the government and I think the government will

(The author is CEO and president, Cognizant Technology Solutions)

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