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Varsity anomaly for OBCs remains

Existing policy says the 27% reservation for OBCs applies only to posts for assistant professors

By Basant Kumar Mohanty in New Delhi
  • Published 26.10.18, 1:44 AM
  • Updated 26.10.18, 1:44 AM
  • a min read
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University Grants Commission (Prem Singh)

The law ministry’s suggestion to correct a decade-old anomaly in reservation of faculty posts in universities for the Other Backward Classes has not found favour with the human resource development ministry.

“We are not in favour of changing the existing policy on reservation for OBCs. This has been communicated to the law ministry,” R. Subrahmanyam, secretary, department of higher education, told reporters.

The existing policy — that has been in force since 2007 and was circulated by the University Grants Commission among universities — says the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs applies only to posts for assistant professors and not associate professor or professor.

The 15 per cent reservation for Scheduled Castes and the 7.5 per cent reservation for Scheduled Tribes, however, apply to faculty posts at all levels.

In the Indian Institutes of Technology too, the reservation for OBCs applies to all levels in the departments of humanities, social sciences and management.

Leaders of several parties had demanded OBC reservation in university teacher posts on a par with the IIT departments. But the government has not taken any decision yet.

The law ministry had suggested correcting the anomaly, responding to a draft ordinance that the HRD ministry had sent it for vetting.

The HRD ministry had prepared the draft to undo a judgment of Allahabad High Court that had ruled in favour of department-wise reservation in recruitment of teachers, instead of treating the institution as a unit. The ruling had triggered fears that it could lead to a reduction in representation of backward sections, with several scholars concerned that some departments might cite excuses to avoid hiring teachers for reserved posts.

Officials said the law ministry, while examining the draft ordinance, had brought up the anomaly in university reservation for OBCs and suggested that it be corrected.

But Subrahmanyam said the HRD ministry’s immediate concern was limited to implementing reservation by treating a university as a unit.