The Centre has recently given exemption to eight institutes from implementing the 10% reservation for the EWS category. The Union HRD ministry passed an order wherein other colleges and central universities will have to implement this quota from the 2019-20 session. This order was for the education regulatory bodies and all states and Union Territories. The scheme for quota implementation has to be shown on the websites of all the concerned institutes by March 31.
Homi Bhabha National Institute in Mumbai and the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences in Shillong are among the eight institutes of excellence that have been given the exemption. As per the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, institutions of excellence are those focused on 'niche research' and advanced research in complex subjects such as Nuclear Physics.
This order came just a week after the clearing of the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, which was passed by the Parliament, and which guarantees an education quota and employment in the General Category.
The other institutes have the option of giving representations if they face any academic, infrastructure or financial constraints in applying for the quota. They can also do so if they are not able to increase the annual permitted strength on an immediate basis in a branch of study or faculty for the upcoming session. The order stated that an appropriate authority in such a case will permit the Institute to increase their seats over a two-year period.
This order was issued by the HRD ministry after being given directions from the social justice and environment ministry, which tabled the bill in the Parliament for providing the quota. Prakash Javadekar, the HRD minister said that the quota implementation will lead to an increase in the seats by 25% so make sure that those for other categories are not affected. As per the order, every central institution will have to increase the number of seats in every area of study or faculty to implement the quota while ensuring that the share for the SC, ST, other backward classes and general categories does not decrease.
Inder Mohan Kapahy, the former UGC member said this exemption was required as most of these institutes of excellence are renowned for their academic work and they should be given protection from allowing to be burdened by admitting students on the basis of reservations.