Faculty reservation: Universities to have dept-wise vacancy roster
Government data shows there are 16,600 sanctioned posts for teachers in central universities in India. Of these, 5,928 posts are vacant.education Updated: Mar 03, 2018 17:49 IST
The government has asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to make a department-wise roster of teacher vacancies reserved for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe candidates, instead of the current norm of having an institution-wise table, officials familiar with the matter said.
Giving details about the order by the human resource development (HRD) ministry, officials who don’t want to be named said on Thursday the move is based on a court judgment.
The Allahabad high court had struck down last April a UGC circular prescribing institution-wise reservation to fill vacant faculty positions. The court held that there are departments without any SC/ST teachers.
The Supreme Court upheld the high court order later, prompting the UGC, the regulator for universities and colleges in India, to send a proposal to the HRD ministry stating that the number of reserved posts in SC/ST and other backward class categories should be done department-wise. The ministry asked the UGC to go ahead with its proposal.
A university is treated as a single unit for calculating the number of faculty from reserved categories. For instance, during listing of all teaching posts of the same grade and across departments are clubbed together to decide the quota. But with the new rule, each department in a varsity would be treated as a unit.
Experts, however, called the move a retrograde step. PS Krishnan, a former secretary in the central government, said if there is a single vacancy, it will preclude the possibility of quota.
“It is because of this problem the government had come with a formula of bunching together similar posts with similar pay scales, qualifications, and so reservation became possible. Usually in a department there would be a single vacancy and reservation would not be possible on a single position,” he said.
He pointed out that the move will reduce the number of posts for SC/ST and socially and educationally backward classes significantly. “They are poorly represented everywhere already … So in an educational system their presence is the lowest at the university level,” he said.
Government data shows there are 16,600 sanctioned posts for teachers in central universities in India. Of these, 5,928 posts are vacant.
The officials countered that the HRD ministry made these points in the courts, which felt that the current system is faulty as it is placing teachers from socially backward backgrounds in only a few departments.
The proposal prepared by the UGC based on this court order was sent to the law ministry, which vetted it.