Modi Govt Bends to Bahujan Pressure, Clears Ordinance on Rosters in Central Universities

The Union Cabinet on Thursday (March 7) cleared an ordinance on reservation mechanism for appointment of faculties in universities, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. On March 5, a countrywide Bharat Bandh of Scs and STs had focussed their demand on the inequitous and discriminatory 13 point roster system as also judicial efforts to dilute the The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognotion of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

The ordinance may be read here.

In response to the social media storm around the #5MarchBharat Bandh, earlier this  week, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said the centre was committed to restoring the reservation roster in educational institutions following a series of protests over the issue by various students’ and teachers’ organisations. They had been urging the government to bring an ordinance to restore the 200-point roster taking college or university as a unit for reservation in teaching posts.

Ironically the issue began with a shift in policy within the Modi regime itself. The University Grants Commission had announced in March last year that an individual department should be considered as the base unit to calculate the number of teaching posts to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates, following an order by the Allahabad High Court in April 2017. The Supreme Court had upheld an Allahabad High Court order over reservation of SC/STs in the appointment of faculty members in universities in January.

The Supreme Court had last month dismissed a review petition filed by the Human Resource Development Ministry after its special leave petition against the court order was rejected by the top court. Mr Javadekar had said in the Lok Sabha on February 11 that the government can “bring an ordinance if its review petition filed in the top court is rejected“.



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