Following Centre’s directions, IITs start quota-based faculty in senior positions
Following directions from the Centre, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), for the first time, started advertising quota-based posts for recruitment in senior positions i.e associate professors and professors. The IITs, having autonomy in the recruitment process, were earlier reserving posts while recruiting faculty at the entry-level of assistant professors.
According to the previous norms, there was no SC/ST/OBC quota for recruiting at senior positions at the IITs for courses other than humanities and management. At the entry-level also, in case the IITs were unable to find suitable candidates for the reserved posts, they had the authority to de-reserve the post after a year. This has hit the diversity among teachers at the IITs.
As per the data shared by the ministry of education in the Parliament in 2018, of the 6,043 faculty members working at the IITs, only 149 were from Scheduled Caste (SC) and 21 from Schedule Tribe (ST). A Parliamentary panel had criticised the poor representation of reserved quota candidates in centrally funded technical institutes last year.
In November last year, the ministry had asked the IITs to extend the reservation to senior positions, and the institute had also been prohibited from “de-reserving” the reserved post after a year. As per the central law, government institutes are required to implement a reservation of 27% in teaching staff for OBC candidates, 15% for SC and 7.5% for ST candidates.
In August this year, the ministry of education instructed all centrally-funded higher education institutes, such as the IITs, the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) to fill all the vacancies including reserved ones in “mission mode”.
Between September and November, several IITs, including IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Madras, and IIT-BHU, have advertised faculty posts at all the levels inviting applications to fill posts reserved for SC, ST, OBC, EWS, and disabled candidates.
“(The) Institute specifically encourages applicants from SC/ST/OBC category as well as persons with disability to apply for these positions,” stated an advertisement published by IIT-D on its website calling applications for faculty positions at the professor and associate professor levels.
Similarly, IIT-Kanpur in its advertisement inviting applications for various faculty positions said, “Reservation is applicable as per government of India norms. The institute also encourages applications from qualified women candidates...The reserved category candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.”
A senior official at the IIT-D, who wished not to be named, said, “The IITs were already hiring suitable SC/ST/OBC candidates at the higher positions but now that the government has asked IITs to extend the reservation to all faculty posts, the institutes are trying their best to find suitable candidates and fill the positions. The major change this time is the revocation of the de-reservation system. What will happen if we are not able to find meritorious candidates on reserved posts? So far, we were able to de-reserve these positions and now it is not possible.”