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DU, JNU teachers resist new quota rules, say SC/ST, OBC to be affected

The Supreme Court, last week, had upheld the Allahabad high court’s April 2017 order, which directed that the reservation in faculty positions in universities/colleges be calculated department-wise and not on the total posts in the university or college.

delhi Updated: Jan 31, 2019 13:05 IST
Fareeha Iftikhar
Fareeha Iftikhar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UGC formula for faculty reservation,DU,JNU
File photo of JNU administrative building.(HT File )

Teachers of Delhi universities and colleges are resisting the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) new formula for calculating reservation in faculty recruitment, saying that it will “sharply” reduce the representation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) and Other Backward Communities (OBC) candidates.

The Supreme Court, last week, had upheld the Allahabad high court’s April 2017 order, which directed that the reservation in faculty positions in universities/colleges be calculated department-wise and not on the total posts in the university or college. The court had rejected the special leave petition (SLP) filed by the human resource development (HRD) ministry, challenging the high court’s order last April.

The faculty members of the Delhi University (DU) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) will on Thursday take out a march from Mandi House to Parliament Street, demanding roll back of the new formula through a bill in the Parliament.

According to the members of SC/ST/OBC teachers association in DU, the smaller departments such as Bengali, Urdu, Anthropology and Punjabi, having fewer than four faculty posts will have no representation of SC/ST and OBC candidates. Teachers say there should be at least 14 posts in each department to reserve at least one post each for SC/ST/OBC candidates.

“According to the new formula, the reservation for SC/ST/OBC in teacher posts will be calculated by treating each department/institution as a unit. Until now, the number of reserved positions was calculated by treating the university/institution as a single unit. So, the number of reserved posts at every level will be determined separately for each department,” Hansraj Suman, chairperson of the DU teachers’ association, said.

Avinash Kumar, secretary of the JNU teachers’ association (JNUTA), said a similar impact will be there in JNU. “Earlier, we used to calculate the reservation by taking schools as a unit. Now, it will be done centre-wise. There are some centres, like the Special Centre for Nanoscience and Special Centre for the study of Northeast India, where there are only four faculty posts and hence there cannot be a representation from SC/ST categories. The irony is that the Centre for Study of Discrimination and Exclusion there have zero representation from backward communities as there are only three faculty posts,” he said.

The JNU teachers will also hold a public meeting on Thursday. “We have invited some members of Parliament to discuss the issue. We will hand over a memorandum to them, appealing them to introduce a bill for restoring the existing university/college-wise roster system,” Kumar said.

UGC officials said the matter is still under consideration. “The HRD ministry has already drafted a bill to roll back the new formula and sent it to the cabinet. We are yet to get any update on this,” a senior UGC official, who wished not to be named, said.

First Published: Jan 31, 2019 13:03 IST