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Not Keen On Changing Reservation Policy For Higher Education: HRD To Law Ministry

Currently, faculty posts are reserved for SC and ST candidates at all three levels — assistant professor, associate professor and professor. For OBCs, however, reservation is applied only at the entry level

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Responding to Law Ministry’s question on the disparity between reservation for OBCs and SCs/STs in faculty positions across universities, the HRD Ministry has clarified that, at the moment, it is not keen on any changes in the reservation policy for higher education.

Currently, faculty posts are reserved for SC and ST candidates at all three levels — assistant professor, associate professor and professor. For OBCs, however, reservation is applied only at entry level.

This discrepancy was questioned by the Law Ministry when it was recently asked to vet an Ordinance to undo the Allahabad High Court order, which paved the way for the UGC’s new formula for implementing reservation in teaching positions.

According to the UGC’s new formula, announced on March 5, reservation for teachers will be calculated department-wise, instead of being based on the total posts in a university. The order sparked a row as it could shrink the number of SC, ST and OBC teachers in higher education.

The political controversy that followed forced the government to approach the Supreme Court in April to undo the Allahabad High Court verdict on which the UGC order is based. Meanwhile, all faculty recruitment across universities was put on hold.

With the Supreme Court taking time to hear the case, the government decided in August to bring an Ordinance. The draft Ordinance was circulated for inter-ministerial comments the same month and then dispatched to Law Ministry for approval. But the Law Ministry, in turn, questioned the disparity in OBC and SC/ST reservation in the faculty.

According to sources, the HRD Ministry has reminded Law Ministry that the government’s priority is to restore the old system of implementing reservation in faculty positions (that is, keeping the university as a unit) and not change the reservation policy itself. “We have asked them again to clear the Ordinance. The matter of OBC reservation is separate from this. There is no intention to tinker with the latter now,” said a senior ministry official. ( source: Indian Express) 


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