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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

IIM Bangalore faculty recruitment under scanner, low rate of faculty from SC, ST and OBC flagged

Two applicants received identical rejection letters last year saying their 'interests and focus areas do not match with requirements' when advertisements didn't mention any requirement

Basant Kumar Mohanty New Delhi Published 19.01.24, 05:31 AM
IIM Bangalore

IIM Bangalore File picture

Two applicants to faculty positions at IIM Bangalore received identical rejection letters last year that said their “interests and focus areas are not matching with our requirements” — despite the advertisements not having mentioned specific requirements.

Both candidates, who had applied for assistant professors’ posts in reserved categories, told The Telegraph that the B-school’s advertisements for the posts mentioned the subject but neither the area of specialisation required nor the screening criteria.

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Anil Wagde, secretary of the Association of Ambedkarite Academics (AAA), a group of scholars and activists, confirmed the two applicants’ allegation.

He flagged a very low rate of faculty recruitment from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes at the IIMB, accusing the institute of conducting recruitment processes for reserved posts in a “ritualistic” manner.

The applicants, neither of whom wanted to be identified, told this newspaper that when the IIMB was clear about its requirements, it should have mentioned them clearly in the ads.

“I would not have applied (if his requirements did not match the qualifications). But its advertisement was generic in nature,” one of them said.

A few days after applying, both received identical email replies from Suma HG, an official from the office of the IIMB dean of faculty, early last year.

“Thank you for your interest in a faculty position at IIMB. Your CV and other supporting material was shared with the faculty of relevant area(s),” the letter said.

“While your record is strong and your background is relevant, your interests and focus areas are not matching with our requirements as of now. Hence, we are unable to proceed further with your application. However, we are keeping your CV on our files, and should an opportunity arise, we will get in touch with you.”

The Union education ministry had in August 2021 asked all central educational institutions to undertake special rounds of recruitment to fill faculty vacancies in posts reserved for the SCs, STs and OBCs within a year.

According to a reply in the Rajya Sabha by junior education minister Subhas Sarkar on December 21, 2022, the 20 IIMs had together advertised 562 posts while 5,167 eligible candidates had applied and 1,506 had been called for interviews. Only 97 were selected.

The AAA has taken up the subject of poor recruitment of reserved category faculty with IIM Bangalore director Rishikesha T. Krishnan.

Wagde, an alumnus of IIM Calcutta who has been watching the progress of IIM recruitments, told this newspaper that IIM Bangalore had not recruited a single candidate from the SC, ST and OBC communities during the special drive.

An email was sent to the IIMB director seeking his comments on the concerns expressed by the AAA and the two rejected candidates. His response is awaited.

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