HRD ministry to file special petition in SC to undo order on faculty quota
Weeks after announcing a new faculty reservation mechanism for universities, the Centre is preparing to file a special leave petition to undo the move that has sparked a controversy.
“There is confusion on whether to treat a university or a department as one unit in the reservation roaster. An inter-ministerial committee was set up to discuss the matter. We took legal opinion and have decided to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court,” Union Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar said at an event.
Following an Allahabad High Court order — upheld by the Supreme Court — the University Grants Commission (UGC) had on March 5 announced a new mechanism for implementing faculty reservations, i.e. calculating total posts department wise rather than institution wise.
The move is likely to have serious implications as it is believed to cut down the number of posts available for SC and ST faculty members.
The UGC has said its new reservation formula was in response to a direction of the Allahabad High Court in April last year.
Hearing a case on hiring teachers at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), the high court had said each department, rather than the entire university, should be treated as a “unit” to form the basis for reservation.
The court had also struck down the UGC’s institution-wise reservation policy to fill vacant faculty positions, saying there were departments without SC or ST teachers.
On the directions of the HRD ministry, a UGC-appointed committee had examined 10 court judgments on the subject and recommended that the Allahabad HC ruling be applied to all universities.