The contentious issue of quota in teacher appointments at Indian Institutes of Management is back, with the HRD minister likely to take it up in a meeting with IIM bosses on September 20, sources said.
The renewed push for affirmative action in India’ top business schools comes at a time when the Modi government is facing criticism for atrocities against Dalits and other weaker sections.
Many of the country’s 20 IIMs have resisted introducing reservation in appointment of faculty, citing quality concerns. But in the meeting, human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar would seek a status report.
“IIMs might find it difficult to dodge the issue, as the minister will take it up in the meeting. All IIMs will submit report on their faculty position,” said a source.
When contacted, IIM Ahmedabad refused comment.
The scholarships and loans provided by IIMs to the needy and SC/ST students are also on the agenda.
In their defence, IIMs cite a 1975 order – issued for Delhi’s School of Planning and Architecture -- that says technical institutes don’t have to follow the reservation policy.
The issue of quota is contentious.
The government in 2008 asked all centrally funded institutions, including Indian Institutes of Technology and IIMs, to set a quota for SC, ST and OBCs in teaching positions.
There were protests against the move. HRD minister Arjun Singh brought in a bill exempting India’s leading education institutes, including IITs and IIMs, from reservation. The Rajya Sabha passed but not the Lok Sabha. The proposed law lapsed after the 14th Lok Sabha was dissolved.
IITs, despite strong reservations, toed the government line while recruiting assistant professors but IIMs remain defiant.
In 2013, higher education secretary Ashok Thakur asked IIMs to follow the reservation system after a parliamentary panel pointed out that the business schools were not following the quota system.
Javadekar predecessor Smriti Irani had in April again asked IIMs if they were following the reservation policy.