NEW DELHI : The Indian Institutes of Technology
(IITs), the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), the
National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Central
universities like Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim
University, Benaras Hindu University, Allahabad
University, Visvabharati University and AIIMS have been
exempted from making reservations, HRD Secretary,
(Higher Education), Mr R.P. Agrawal informed the 39th
IIT Council meeting here on January 28.
The Union Government has
decided to exempt 47 premier higher educational
institutions from reservation in their faculty for
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. All existing
IITs, IIMs, NITs and universities like Delhi University,
Aligarh Muslim University, Benaras Hindu University,
Allahabad University, Visvabharati University and AIIMS
come under the exemption clause, Mr Agrawal said.
Mr Agrawal said that the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Reservation
in Posts and Services) Bill, 2008, has declared these
higher educational institutes as centres of excellence
and exempted them from making reservations in faculty
positions. The exemption will cover both teaching and
The Bill, which
precipitated a bitter battle between the MHRD and the
Prime Minister's Office, was passed in the Rajya Sabha
in December. The government plans to obtain the Lok
Sabha’s approval in the coming session — the last before
its term ends. The ministry handed out copies of the
bill to members of the IIT council — the highest
decision-making body of the engineering institutes.
“There shall be no reservation where appointments are
made to posts higher than the lowest grade of Group A
posts (lecturer level) and classified as scientific and
technical posts and posts in institutions of national
importance and Indian Institutes of Management specified
in the schedule,” Section 4 (1) (iv) of the bill states.
The IITs and IIMs were opposed to reservation in faculty
posts pointing to the non-availability of competent
faculty. Central universities such as the Allahabad
University has a similar grouse. “We had advertised for 300 posts
in 2008 including those for lecturers, readers and
professors. Despite having received 15,000 applications,
we were not able to find eligible candidates from the
reserved sections for senior positions,” said Allahabad
University Vice Chancellor Rajen Harshe.
As expected, the IITs are happy with the exemption
clause in the Bill. “This is what we have been
demanding,” said Gautam Barua, director, IIT Guwahati.
Mr Arjun Singh had said in
March 2008 that the ace institutions would have to
follow the quotas. In June, a formal notification was
sent to the IITs, asking them to implement the
The IIT directors, however, opposed the faculty quotas,
arguing that reservations would hurt the quality of
teaching and inject casteism into the teaching
fraternity at the premier engineering schools.
In August 2008, IIT Guwahati director Gautam Barua asked
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene on the
concerns raised by the directors. The Prime Minister
promised he would take up the concerns with Arjun Singh.
The new bill has been shepherded by the Prime Minister’s
Office, and was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by
Prithviraj Chavan, the minister of state in the PMO.
Group ‘A’ posts do not cover faculty posts — they
describe only a category of posts that includes the
registrar and other senior officers of the
administration. But all faculty at the IITs, IIMs and other institutes listed in
the schedule are paid salaries on a par with or higher
than the “lowest grade of Group ‘A’ posts”.
So, the bill, if cleared by the Lok Sabha, will grant
exemption to the institutes for all posts above the
lowest faculty posts.
The IIT Council meeting, chaired by Mr Arjun Singh, was
held at Shastri Bhavan. Mrs D. Purandeswari, Minister of
State for Higher Education also attended the meeting.
IITs may soon formally enter the global elite of
engineering schools under an international treaty that
India has signed and which may kick in later this year.
The IIT Council has formally sanctioned the entry of the
IITs to a global bunch of engineering schools from
countries that are signatories to the Washington Accord.