No SC/ST quota in IITs, IIMs, NITs & Central varsity jobs 


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. Mr R P Agrawal

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 non-teaching posts.

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 reservations.

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.

Washington accord

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. 
          
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