The government may be patting itself on the back over introducing the Moiley Committee report on 27 per cent reservations for other backward classes (OBCs) in state-funded institutions. But the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is not impressed with the committee's plan.
In a verbal and written communication to the University Grants Commission (UGC) last week, JNU Vice-Chancellor Prof BB Bhattacharya has urged the authorities to have a rethink on the policy with regard to JNU.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Prof Bhattacharya said, "Although the Moiley Committee report is designed to create better facilities in central universities for students, its recommendations cannot be completely implemented at JNU because of certain ground realities. The authorities have assured us that they will take a 'serious look' at the issue."
For instance, to accommodate OBCs, seats will increase by 54 per cent at JNU.
Consequently, proper infrastructure like laboratories, classrooms and other facilities must be created for these students. This will require allocation and disbursement of additional funds amounting to several crores.
"So far, there has only been talk of funds. How are we expected to proceed with the changes and additional responsibilities?" Prof Bhattacharya asked.
The biggest challenge before the university is introducing these changes in a span of 365 days. "We need to create new buildings and introduce other facilities. Even if things are speeded up, the infrastructure will be ready only after three years," he explained. "The other significant area of concern is shortage of faculty."
In the present system, there are 560 teaching posts at JNU, of which 120 posts are vacant. Not only do these 120 vacancies need to be filled, at least 270 more teachers need to be hired.
"JNU is unlike any other central university where a large number of students are pursuing PhD degrees. For every five students, at least one teacher is required. JNU is largely a research university where one teacher is teaching 10 research students.
"The Moiley Committee has given money for providing one teacher for 30 students. This is impractical and will affect our ranking and quality as a national and international university," Prof Bhattacharya said.