Advertisement

Home / India / EWS quota faculty seats stay vacant in higher education institutions

EWS quota faculty seats stay vacant in higher education institutions

This has thrown into jeopardy the Union education ministry’s stated goal of filling all the teaching posts under the reserved categories by September 4
Representational image.
Representational image.
Shutterstock

Basant Kumar Mohanty   |   New Delhi   |   Published 10.05.22, 03:26 AM

A decision by the Union social justice and empowerment ministry on the Economically Weaker Sections quota has slammed the door on appointments to senior faculty posts in higher education institutions under this reservation category.

This has thrown into jeopardy the Union education ministry’s stated goal of filling all the vacant teaching posts under the reserved categories by September 4 this year.

Advertisement

The social justice ministry has stated that there is no provision for “de-reservation” of vacant slots under the 10 per cent EWS quota, a senior ministry official told The Telegraph.

This means that if certain jobs or higher-education seats under the EWS quota remain vacant because of a lack of demand or suitable candidates, these seats or jobs cannot be opened up for general candidates.

However, the posts of professors or associate professors earmarked under the EWS quota cannot be filled because of one of the eligibility criteria under the quota is a family income of Rs 8 lakh or less a year.

To be appointed a professor or associate professor, a candidate must have at least 10 years’ experience as associate professor or assistant professor, respectively.

However, an assistant professor’s salary (and that of an associate professor) is more than Rs 8 lakh a year.

The income cut-off, therefore, virtually mandates that 10 per cent of professors’ and associate professors’ posts would remain vacant — a problem that the vice-chancellors of the central universities recently raised at a meeting with higher education secretary Sanjay Murthy.

R.P. Tiwari, vice-chancellor of Punjab Central University, said the problem allowed only two solutions: permitting de-reservation of vacant slots under the EWS quota, or tweaking the income cut-off.

“If the government brings in parity with the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), in whose case the income from salary is not counted under the gross family income (while determining which candidates are disqualified as ‘creamy layer’ under a Rs 8 lakh income cut-off), the senior faculty posts can be filled under the EWS quota. Otherwise, the government has to allow de-reservation of posts,” Tiwari said.

However, the Supreme Court has in an ongoing case questioned the rationale behind having the same income cut-off for the EWS and the OBCs, who are socially unequal.

To this, the government’s defence has been that the cut-offs are not the same since the EWS income calculations take salaries into account while those for the OBCs do not.

Therefore, the government is unlikely to bring parity between the two quotas in the way incomes are calculated, since that will weaken the case for the EWS, the social justice ministry official said.

De-reservation for jobs is not allowed under any of the other quotas — SC, ST or OBC — either, but de-reservation of vacant seats is allowed under the OBC quota.

The de-reservation issue came up recently in Gujarat High Court, with two general category students seeking de-reservation of two vacant EWS seats in a masters’ course at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

The students had asked the institute to admit them against these two seats instead of letting the seats lapse, but the institute refused in the absence of clear guidelines. The duo petitioned the high court, which asked the Centre to make its stand clear.

“The ministry has stated that there is no provision at present to de-reserve the posts. This has been communicated to the department of industrial policy and promotion, which will file the affidavit in the court,” the ministry official told this newspaper.

With the education ministry’s deadline to fill all reserved posts a little over four months away, most central higher education institutions have issued advertisements. But the posts of associate professors and professors under the EWS category have received zero applications.



Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
 
 
 
Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.