January 19, 2021
TED NewsDesk, New Delhi: The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) demanded an inspection of a plea against a committee nominated by the government. The committee suggested absolving the IITs from the quota system.
The NCBC forwarded a letter to Amit Khare, on January 5. It requested the Higher Education Secretary in the Ministry of Education (MoE) to respond with an agreement report within 15 days of the application’s receipt. The deadline, as per the conditions, is February 1 since the letter reached to the Ministry on Monday.
In December 2021, Dharmendra Kumar, President, Technical Universities Teachers Association (TUTA), filed a petition urging the Commission “to do the needful” to prevent the government from accepting the committee’s suggestions. Following the complaint, the NCBC wrote the letter to notify the plea.
The panel said they need to fill the faculty positions (in case of no suitable SC, ST and OBC candidate) to let IITs break the top worldwide ranking. It led Kumar to challenge the panel’s justification.
The MoE established the committee in April 2020 to review the “effective implementation of reservation” in the admission of students and nomination of faculty positions at IITs.
The panel recommended exempting 23 IITs entirely from reservations under the Centre Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act 2019. The suggestion was an alternative to the idea of implementing quotas in faculty positions. In its report to the government, the panel suggested using outreach campaigns to address the diversity issues. It also focused on faculty recruitment rather than specific quotas.
The report recommended recognising IITs as “Institutions of Excellence” mentioned in the Schedule to the CEI Act. Section 4 of the Act denies reservation to the “Institutions of excellence, research institutions, Institutions of national and strategic importance” mentioned in the Schedule and minority institutions.
Presently, the Section 4 of the law envelopes Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, National Brain Research Centre, 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.
V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, chaired the committee. Other members present included IIT Kanpur Director Abhay Karandikar, representatives of secretaries of the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Tribal Affairs, Department of Personnel and Training, Persons with Disabilities, and registrars of IIT Bombay and IIT Madras.
“… there are many IITs which were established more than 60-70 years ago but never obtained world ranking even within top 200 despite being there more than 95% faculty of these institutions from unreserved categories,” he wrote.
“Therefore, it is a baseless point mentioned by the committee… Also, it will impact the diversity issues in these institutions, which will be against the spirit of the Constitution of India.”
The SC/ST/OBC quota applies to the recruitment of Assistant Professor There is no such reservation to recruit senior faculty posts like Professor and Associate Professor. According to the government’s guidelines from 2008, if the IITs do not get a fitting SC, ST and OBC applicants at the entry-level, they can put aside these posts after a year. The courses of humanities and management at IITs offer reservation at all three stages.
The Education Ministry’s data for 2018, shared to the Parliament, shows that 6043 faculty out of 8856 teaching posts held positions whereas 2813 were empty. The 149 teachers out of 6043 belong to SC and 21 from ST.
Source: Indian Express