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Supreme Court rejects govt pleas for university-wide quotas in faculty

Allahabad High Court ruling on department-wise reservation upheld

  • Published 23.01.19, 4:29 AM
  • Updated 23.01.19, 9:14 AM
  • a min read
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The UGC had asked all universities to put on hold their recruitment process until the Supreme Court ruled on the two petitions (Shutterstock)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed two petitions filed by the human resource development ministry and the University Grants Commission challenging an Allahabad High Court ruling in favour of department-wise reservation in universities.

The government now has the option of bringing a legislation to get around the April 2017 high court ruling that struck down UGC guidelines on the implementation of reservation in faculty recruitment. While the UGC guidelines provided for treating the whole university as a unit for the purpose of reservation, the high court had ruled in favour of department-wise reservation.

Since departments have very few posts, the universities started applying a 13-point roster quota system in which the first three positions go to the general category, the fourth to Other Backward Classes, the seventh to Scheduled Castes and the 13th to Scheduled Tribes. But this meant that in smaller departments, the chances of SC and STs getting reservation diminished.

The UGC had asked all universities to put on hold their recruitment process until the Supreme Court ruled on the two petitions.

Delhi University Teachers Association president Rajib Ray said the outfit had been demanding that the government bring an ordinance or bill to treat each college or university as a unit.

“Department/subject-wise roster is a way to deny constitutionally mandated percentages (reservation) to SCs, STs and OBCs. This change will marginalise teachers and researchers from SC, ST and OBC backgrounds who have worked hard to be part of the mainstream,” he said.

A senior HRD ministry official said a bill had been prepared to provide for reservation by considering a university as a unit. “The bill is pending before the cabinet. Let us see,” the official said.