Only few reserved faculty seats for SCs, STs and OBCs at university campuses: UGC shares new policy with HRDM

Only few reserved faculty seats for SCs, STs and OBCs at university campuses: UGC shares new policy with HRDM

New Delhi, October 23: It would be a tough time for SC, ST and OBC candidates who aim for faculty job at university campuses, as the HRD Ministry decides to accept UGC’s new formula for implementing reservation in teaching posts.

Last month, University Grants Commission (UGC) had resolved the number of reserved faculty posts. Instead of aggregate posts in a university, it would be calculated department wise. This would result in fewer seats for SCs, STs and OBCs.

The new policy is followed after a verdict of the Allahabad High Court in April. The court held that reservation in teaching posts has to be in department wise treating department as a ‘unit’ and not the university. The verdict was made while hearing a case on teachers’ recruitment in Banaras Hindu University.

The court criticised UGC for making reservation in a ‘blanket manner’. It advised the regulator to revisit its implementation. The court observed, “if the University is taken as a ‘Unit’ for every level of teaching and applying the roster, it could result in some departments/subjects having all reserved candidates and some having only unreserved candidates.” The court further said that such a proposition would be discriminatory and unreasonable. This violates Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution. The Allahabad High Court had cancelled the BHU recruitment and asked it to start afresh.

UGC’s Standing Committee recommended Allahabad HC’s verdict to be applied to all universities after examining 10 court judge judgements on the matter.

The decision has been shared with HRD Ministry, and is awaiting for its ‘concurrence’. Through an effective order, the change will be notified after the government’s nod.

Out of 17,106 teaching positions at 41 UGC-funded central universities, 5,997 are vacant from 1 April 2017. It depicts 35 per cent vacant teaching positions. Majority of the vacant posts for faculty are at the assistant professor level (2,457), which is followed by associate professor (2,217) and professor (1,098).

Change in criteria of appointing the faculties, regarding reservation, would affect all new recruitment drives made by universities in future.

Former secretary to the central government and an expert on the subject, P S Krishnan asserted, “if our goal is to strengthen India by giving opportunities to persons belonging to the submerged populations, who have become qualified, then we should interpret rules or make rules to enable them to come in due numbers.” On the other, “if our aim is to weaken India then we can interpret rules in a manner, which defeats the goal of reservation,” added Krishnan.