Fill faculty positions reserved for SC, ST, OBC, EWS in a year: MoE to centrally-funded institutes

Published on Aug 28, 2021 11:46 PM IST

From next month on, institutes will also have to send a monthly report on the actions taken to fill vacant positions.

IIT-Bombay director Subhasis Chaudhuri had earlier confirmed that they had earlier received notification from ministry of education. (HT FILE)
IIT-Bombay director Subhasis Chaudhuri had earlier confirmed that they had earlier received notification from ministry of education. (HT FILE)
ByPriyanka Sahoo, Mumbai

Centrally-funded higher education institutions (CHEIs) will now have to report to the Union ministry of education (MoE) on the action taken to fill faculty positions reserved for socially and economically marginalised communities.

In a letter issued Tuesday, MoE has directed all CHEIs such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) to fill faculty positions that are lying vacant, especially in the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC) and economically weaker sections (EWS) categories on mission mode by September 2022. From next month on, institutes will have to send a monthly report on the actions taken to fill vacant positions.

“I am writing in connection with the faculty positions that are lying vacant, especially in the SC, ST, OBC and EWS categories in the central higher education institutions (CHEls) functioning under the administrative control of the ministry of education. In order to clear this backlog, it has been decided that all CHEls should fill these vacancies in a mission mode within a period of one year starting from September 5, 2021 to September 4, 2022 and to report about the action taken and progress made in this regard,” said Amit Khare, secretary, department of higher education, MoE, in a letter addressed to directors and vice-chancellors of CHEIs. He did not respond to email queries from HT.

As directed by MoE, institutes will now have to include a separate chapter in their annual report depicting the status of filling up of backlog vacancies in tabular format during the year. They will also have to include an agenda item in every finance committee/ board of governors/ board of management meeting, apprising the committees and board of the status of filling up of backlog vacancies.

This is the latest in a series of communications from MoE on the matter of implementation of reservations in faculty appointments. Earlier this month, HT had reported about a series of three letters issued from Khare’s office asking CHEIs to implement the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers Cadre) Act, 2019.

Unlike other universities, CHEIs follow a flexible cadre system. This means the sanctioned strength of faculty at different grades is not fixed. Faculty members graduate from assistant to associate to professor positions during the course of their career. Until 2019, reservations were applicable to the entry level alone (assistant professor). Thereafter, the Central government extended the reservation policy to all positions.

However, none of the 22 IITs in the country have more than six teachers who belong to ST, and 18 of them have 10 or less candidates from SC category on their faculty rolls. Seven IITs had 10 or fewer faculties from OBC category, HT reported earlier based on responses received under RTI. Of the 23 IITs in India, data for IIT-Mandi was unavailable.

IIT-Bombay director Subhasis Chaudhuri did not respond to calls and messages. However, earlier he had told HT that the institute had received communications from MoE on implementation of reservations and it planned to bring the matter up in its board of governors meeting.

Meanwhile, IITs have been seeking more clarity on how to implement reservations on flexi cadre systems. A faculty from an IIT who advocates for diversity on campus said, “Most IITs have been misusing the flexi-cadre system to not follow reservations. They can easily follow the roster system that the department of personnel and training (DoPT) has formulated.”

DoPT has formulated a system for institutes that do not have fixed number of positions. On the roster, every fourth person has to be from OBC category, seventh from SC, eighth from OBC, 12th from OBC, 14th from ST and 15th from SC and so forth.

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