AIFRTE slams Centre for suggesting scrapping reservation in IIT faculty recruitment

The move was also condemned by IIT Bombay’s Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle for its casteist ignorance


The All India Forum for Right To Education (AIFRTE) on December 21, 2020 condemned the central government’s decision to exempt IITs of SC/ST quota in faculty appointments.

“The AIFRTE condemns the government’s blatant and unconstitutional instruction to dispense with SC/ST reservation in faculty appointments. We had cautioned that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 with its promotion of so-called ‘merit’ and no mention of reservation policy was headed in this direction. We demand immediate withdrawal of this instruction. Reservation is a core basis of the principle of social justice and the government must publicly re-affirm that it stands by this policy and will fully and sincerely implement it,” said Chairperson Professor Jagmohan Singh in a press release.

Earlier, a government-appointed committee directed to suggest measures for effective implementation of reservation in students’ admissions and faculty recruitment made this recommendation under the Central Educational Institutions (CEI) (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act 2019. They said that diversity issues should be addressed through outreach campaigns and targeted faculty recruitment of faculty as opposed to specific quotas.

The committee chaired by IIT Delhi Director V. Ramgopal Rao with IIT Kanpur Director Abhay Karandikar, representatives of the departments of Social Justice and Empowerment, Tribal Affairs, Department of Personnel and Training, Persons with Disabilities and registrars of IIT Bombay and IIT Madras, submitted a five-page report to the Ministry of Education, on June 17, 2020.

The report suggested that IITs should be added to the “Institutions of Excellence” list mentioned in the Schedule to the CEI Act that exempts “institutions of excellence” from providing reservation.

Currently, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), North-Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Physical Research Laboratory, Space Physics Laboratory, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing and Homi Bhabha National Institute and all its 10 constituent units are covered under the Section 4 of the law.

According to the Indian Express, the suggestion drew a sharp reaction from IIT Bombay’s Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) that denounced the committee for casteist ignorance. The APPSC said the committee put the blame on candidates from reserved categories for not being ‘qualified enough.’

Further, as an alternative to the first suggestion, committee members said that reservation should only be given at the level of Assistant Professor while Associate Professors and Professors should be exempted.

They suggested that vacancies not filled up with adequate representation of SC/ST and other reserved candidates in a year due to non-availability of suitable candidates may be “de-reserved” next year with the approval of the Board of Governors.

 Similarly, for recruiting suitable PhD candidates from the reserved category, they recommended a two-year “preparatory programme” funded by the department of Social Justice and Empowerment.


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