Faculty reservation order to IIMs
The government has decided to direct the Indian Institutes of Management to reserve posts for candidates from socially and economically deprived backgrounds while hiring teachers, superseding a 44-year-old order that the B-schools have so long cited to evade quota-based recruitment.
The human resource development ministry sprang into action after several MPs and parliamentary forums put the government in the dock over this continued evasion by the IIMs while hiring faculty, although the institutes have introduced admission quotas in their management programmes.
The ministry has now decided to ask the 20 IIMs to set aside 15 per cent of the posts for Scheduled Castes, 7.5 per cent for Scheduled Tribes, 27 per cent for Other Backward Classes and 10 per cent for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
Earlier this year, Parliament had passed a law to provide for the 10 per cent EWS quota in admissions and jobs and sources said the ministry would cite this Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act to make the IIMs fall in line.
The act, passed in the last session of Parliament, provides for reservation for SC/STs, OBCs and EWS candidates in direct recruitment of faculty by clubbing vacant posts of the same rank across all departments in an institution.
The government, the sources said, will also ask the IIMs to create within a month a roster system for hiring teachers.
“The issue of IIMs not implementing reservation is being raised in Parliament. A committee on the welfare of OBCs had recently raised several questions on non-implementation of reservation in educational institutions,” a senior HRD ministry official said.
The sources said the ministry’s order, expected shortly, would state clearly that the order the department of personnel and training had issued in 1975 was being superseded.
The DoPT, the nodal central government agency on matters related to reservation, had in its 1975 order sought to exempt scientific and technical posts from the reservation policy.
While IIM Ahmedabad adopted this order, the other IIMs have taken advantage of it without adopting it.
The HRD ministry has often nudged the IIMs to introduce reservation but has never issued a binding directive. The IIMs on their part have maintained that reservation did not apply to them in recruitment but said they would make a positive discrimination in favour of candidates from deprived sections against upper-caste candidates in a case of almost equal calibre.
According to data the ministry had compiled a few months ago, teachers from general categories occupied 545 of the 699 sanctioned posts in the six older IIMs, as against 10 OBCs, three SCs and none from the STs.
Two IIMs had not submitted figures for SCs, STs and OBCs, saying they did not maintain such data.
IIM Calcutta alumnus Anil Wagde, a functionary of the Global IIM Alumni Network that has been fighting for reservation in faculty posts and admission in research courses, welcomed the ministry’s decision.
“It is a welcome decision. Reservation in faculty posts will bring diversity. Classroom discussions will touch ground situations and address the problems of common people. The institutions will be more inclusive,” Wagde said but warned against tricks the IIMs might employ to evade quotas.
“The government must state that the IIMs cannot recruit faculty on contract or guest faculty against regular posts. They may do so to avoid reservation,” he cautioned.
He also demanded that IIM Ahmedabad implement reservation in admissions to its PhD courses that other B-schools have started from this year.
An IIM director said the ministry’s decision was “unilateral”.
“In recent months, there has been no discussion on this issue. The IIMs are already trying to recruit more candidates from socially and economically deprived sections. But quality and excellence should not be compromised,” the director said.
He said there were not enough suitable candidates from the socially deprived sections to be hired as teachers and expressed fears that many of the posts reserved for SCs, STs and OBCs might remain vacant.
“The government is talking about excellence,” said an IIM Calcutta teacher. “Good-quality faculty is the key to excellence.”