By: Ashit K. Sarkar

Here is a great opportunity for the IT professionals & programmers! Write a programme for resolving today’s vexing controversial issue of satisfying all the different claimants for a selection methodology - for all the different areas, be it for Government jobs or promotions, admission method for institutions or for granting awards et all. This should not limit the process from the generally believed straight and narrow path of merit, seniority or qualifications, despite the inaccuracies in its measurement system. Known important influencing factors now being perhaps mostly: connections, recommendations or capitation fees (including under the table gratuity).

With the doors of this issue being wide-open for discussions for finalization soon, each group and sub group should quickly establish their rightful share in the selection pie whilst the going is good. This should eliminate, or at least reduce, the future need for seeking due representation by the very many possible categories of aspirers, and perhaps settle today’s major turmoil once for all.

Let us list out the various groups that could be considered. Of course, the much favoured OBC’s and caste considerations certainly must head the list, along with the region of your birth or residence. However, the rights of a very major sub division - the fairer sex - must not be missed this time. While contemplating gender or sex as a basis, we might include the gays & eunuchs as well. The economic situation of the applicant or perhaps the family too has also to be given due handicap and the past priorities given to the forefather or other family member may not be ignored (including the 'honour' of spending jail time on political grounds). Then there has to be the most vital religious sub-divide for which the world has continued to struggle for centuries, and despite being secular, India is regularly much affected most of the time in its various States with this issue – but please do not forget the very many sub groups within each major religion, and also the many non-believers or atheists (not sure how conversions are to be treated). The physically challenged and disabled surely need to be given a place (or places, to be more accurate, for the different types or degrees of disability). How about the law breakers – surely they need to be considered as being selected might be a very good inducement for them to stay away from the heady attractions of criminal life (not applicable for political candidates). What about the activists and do-gooders, and perhaps the senior citizen?

Should there be some provision for the political affiliations & parties, which they are sure to demand vociferously? This will be difficult to manage with the politicians and leaders often changing their parties based on the ‘wind direction’ and convenience (or lucrative offers), so it might be prudent to avoid or minimize this qualification.

Further, these factors should possibly have different varying handicaps for different selection purposes since some reservations must be provided at each level to make it “a true level playing field” as a part of the affirmative action.

This should prove to be quite a challenging project to the IT programmer for writing the algorithms while developing such a selection programme needed urgently – since the factors touched upon are only the visible part of the iceberg!

Oh yes, please do not forget to include merit as a factor as well - even if it is a miniscule component.