RECOMMENDATIONS ON RESERVATION

CONTEXT:
Recently, an eight-member committee, appointed by the government for suggesting measures for effective implementation of reservation in students admissions and faculty recruitment in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), has come out with its recommendations.

MAIN POINTS:

  • It was chaired by IIT Delhi’s Director and had representatives of secretaries of the departments of Social Justice and Empowerment, Tribal Affairs, Department of Personnel and Training, Persons with Disabilities, among others.
  • Its report was submitted to the Ministry of Education in June 2020 and has been made available under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Being established and recognised as institutions of national importance, IITs should be added to the list of “Institutions of Excellence” mentioned in the Schedule to the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019 (CEI Act).
  • Section 4 of the Act exempts “institutions of excellence, research institutions, institutions of national and strategic importance” mentioned in the Schedule and “minority institutions” from providing reservation.
  • Currently, many research institutes like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, National Brain Research Centre, Space Physics Laboratory, etc. are included under Section 4 of the act, but not the IITs.
  • If granting full exemption from reservations was not possible, the committee recommended that the implementation of reservation policies for all categories including Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) be restricted just to Assistant Professor Grade I and Grade II and not for levels above.
  • Vacancies not filled in a particular year due to non-availability, be dereserved in the subsequent year.
  • Conduct of special recruitment drives to attract candidates from reserved categories.
  • To address diversity issues, the report argued that a “system emphasizing targeted goals over a period of time” and not “specific quotas” be followed so that IITs can “compete with other top institutions in the world in terms of excellence, output, research and teaching.”
  • The panel proposes a two-year Research Assistantship for students from reserved categories aspiring to join PhD programmes.
  • It highlighted that the enrollment of reserved category students in the PhD programme is low and needs to be addressed, which is severely limiting the number of reserved category candidates available to be hired as faculty in the IIT system.
  • Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019
  • It provides for the reservation of posts in appointments by direct recruitment of persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs), the Scheduled Tribes (STs), the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) and the Economically Weaker Sections (EWSs), to teachers’ cadre in certain Central Educational Institutions established, maintained or aided by the Central Government, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Act not to apply in certain cases:

  • The institutions of excellence, research institutions, institutions of national and strategic importance specified in the Schedule to this Act.
  • A Minority Educational Institution.
  • However. the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, amend the Schedule from time to time.

SOURCE: PIB

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