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No reservations for higher faculty?

A legislation introduced in the Rajya Sabha exempts institutions of excellence from reserving posts for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe candidates, except at the entry level, reports Prasad Nichenametla.

delhi Updated: Jan 29, 2009 14:47 IST
Prasad Nichenametla
Prasad Nichenametla
Hindustan Times

A legislation introduced in the Rajya Sabha exempts institutions of excellence — including the Indian Institutes of Technology, the national institutes of technology and the Indian Institutes of Management — from reserving posts for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe candidates, except at the entry level.

In an election year, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill 2008, approved by the Upper House last month, has the potential to stir up a political storm.

The 47 exempted institutes include leading universities such as Aligarh Muslim University, Delhi University, Banaras Hindu University, Allahabad University and the Vishwa Bharati, apart from the All India institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and JIPMER (Pondicherry).

“There shall be no reservation where appointments are made to posts higher than the lowest grade of Group A posts (lecturer level) and classified as scientific and technical posts and posts in institutions of national importance and Indian Institutes of Management specified in the schedule,” a clause in the bill said.

The IITs and IIMs are opposed to reservation in faculty posts pointing to the non-availability of required talent. Central universities such as the Allahabad University have a similar grouse. “We had advertised for 300 posts in 2008 including those for lecturers, readers and professors. Despite receiving 15,000 applications, we were not able to find eligible candidates from the reserved sections for some of the senior positions,” said Allahabad University Vice Chancellor Rajen Harshe.

As expected, the IITs are happy with the exemption clause in the Bill. “This is what we have been demanding,” said Gautam Barua, director, IIT Guwahati.

As a part of their common minimum programme, the bill was conceived by the UPA to ensure equality of opportunity in education and employment for SCs, STs and religious minorities.

While the bill attempts to legalise provisions related to relaxation in age, qualification and experience, in a way, it closes doors for the deprived sections when it comes to senior faculty posts.

First Published: Jan 29, 2009 14:45 IST