Govt asks UGC to have university faculty appointments deferred till SC hearing on reservations

A UGC order said each department, rather than the entire university, should reserve seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The current norm is to have institution-wise reservation.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2018 13:44 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Faculty reservations,SC/STs,UGC
Hearing a case on hiring teachers at Banaras Hindu University, the Allahabad high court said each department, rather than the entire university, should be treated as a “unit” to form a basis for reservation.(Representative image)

The government has asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to convey to all universities to postpone its process of teachers’ appointment by calculating vacancies based on individual departments till the Supreme Court issues its verdict in the matter.

The top court will hear a review petition by the government on the issue soon.

The Union human resource development (HRD) ministry sent a letter to the higher education regulator in this regard on Thursday.

“A number of universities and colleges are going ahead with the appointments and are calculating the vacancies on the basis of departments which may affect the representation of SC/ST candidates. As the matter is due for hearing, we are asking them to postpone the process,” a senior ministry official said.

The commission had announced in March that an individual department should be considered as the base unit to calculate the number of teaching posts to be reserved for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates following an order by Allahabad high court in April last year, which was upheld by the Supreme Court.

A university is treated as a single unit for calculating the number of faculty from reserved categories. For instance, during the listing of all teaching posts of the same grade, all departments are clubbed together to decide the quota.

Read | Govt debates reservations for SC, ST candidates in departments or universities

But under the new rule, each department in a varsity was to be treated as a unit but experts had pointed out that the move would reduce the number of posts for SC/ST candidates significantly.

The top court had struck down the institute-wise selection process by which every university was considered the base unit. The government, which faced severe criticism, filed a review petition in the Supreme Court in April.

Government data shows there are 16,600 sanctioned posts for teachers in central universities in India and out of these, 5,928 are vacant.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 12:43 IST