The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has approved a new formula of the University Grants Commission (UGC) for implementing reservation in teaching posts. As per UGC new reservation guidelines, the number of OBC, ST and SC faculty in all central universities across the country is set to decline significantly.
Earlier, UGC sought the approval of the government for its proposal to implement department-wise reservation policy while recruiting the faculty members. UGC sought to replace the process of calculating reservation based on the total posts in a university.
According to sources, HRD Minister consulted Department of Personnel & Training and Ministry of Law to take a decision on implementing department-wise reservation policy in central universities. Both the government agencies have favoured the new recruitment guidelines of UGC. UGC is expected to notify the revised guidelines through an executive order soon.
UGC favoured new reservation formula considering the direction of Allahabad High Court in April 2017. The court was hearing a case on the recruitment of teachers at BHU (Banaras Hindu University). The court clarified that the reservation policy at varsity should be implemented department-wise, instead of the entire university. The court also expressed its disappointment over UGC’s policy of implementing reservations in a ‘blanket manner’.
After taking Allahabad HC’s opinion into consideration, the Standing Committee of UGC examined the judgements of 10 courts on the subject. Finally, the higher education regulator recommended that the decision of Allahabad HC must be applicable to all the universities.
The existing representation of OBC, ST and SC among teachers in higher education is pretty disgraceful. As per the report of the government, seven of every 100 teachers in universities and colleges are from the disadvantaged castes. The total number of Dalit teachers in universities and colleges across the country is just 7.22%. On the other hand, the tribal faculty in Indian universities and colleges is just 2.12%.
As per the new UGC formula, reservation policy in faculty recruitment will be applied by treating individual department in a university as a ‘unit’. Under the new regulations, the number of reserved posts at an individual level (assistant professor, associate professor and professor) will be determined separately for each department. The reservation will be calculated based on the total posts in each department.