Ever wonder what a system of"affirmative action" would look like if were permitted to completely run amok? For decades India has employed what it calls a"reservation system" whereby up to 80% of positions are set aside for"backward" castes. Universities (as one might expect) are particularly keen on set-asides. The result is predictable, and sadly, all too familiar: the collapse of merit and dominance of group membership as the only acceptable standard for selection or advancement.
To be sure, we hear much today about out-sourcing to India. Try making a flight reservation without talking to someone in Bangalore or Delhi. But India barely registers a blip when it comes to technical innovation or academic achievement. The brain drain continues unabated, and always will, as long as smart people are pushed aside in favor of protected groups.
I will see if this analysis still holds water when I return. Any questions?