Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Modi govt tells IITs & IIMs to ensure caste-based reservation in faculty hiring

IITs, IIMs & IISERs had not been adhering to reservation norms in entirety when hiring faculty. Govt now makes it mandatory to implement quota in all teaching positions.

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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has decided to address the contentious issue of caste-based reservation in faculty hiring at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). 

The premier institutions, along with the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), had not been adhering to the Constitutionally-mandated reservation norms in their entirety when hiring faculty. 

Early this week, however, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) issued a directive to all central government technical institutions such as the IITs, IIMs and the IISERs to implement reservation in teaching positions, including senior posts.

According to provisions in the Constitution, all government institutions are mandated to provide 15 per cent reservation for scheduled castes, 7.5 per cent for scheduled tribes and 27 per cent for other backward castes (OBCs).  

Also read: India to launch GRE-like aptitude test InSAT for foreign students from next year

Institutes bypassed quota through old DoPT order

The IITs and IIMs had not been implementing reservation in its entirety. 

The IITs for instance provide reservation for Dalits, tribals and OBCs in faculty hiring only at the entry level — assistant professors. 

With the new directive, the institutions will now have to ensure reservations in senior faculty positions as well — professors and associate professors. The same rule will apply to IISERs, the central government institutes dedicated purely to research.

The IIMs, on the other hand, had not been adhering to caste-based reservation in appointing faculty, citing an over 40-year-old order from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which said faculty reservation will not be extended to technical posts. 

IISERs, which are purely research-based institutes, also cite the same order to deny reservation. According to the DoPT order that came before 1975, all “scientific and technical” posts are exempt from caste-based reservation. 

The HRD ministry has, however, now asked all IIMs to consider the latest directive while appointing faculty. The new directive “supersedes” all older orders and directives, it has said.  

Also read: Like IITs and IIMs, UGC wants its institutes to take alumni help for placement & funding 

Diversity deficit in IIMs, IITs

There is a huge diversity deficit in the faculty of IITs and IIMs. 

According to data submitted by the HRD Ministry in Parliament in December 2018, SCs, STs and OBCs together made up just 9 per cent of total faculty in IITs and 6 per cent in IIMs.  

For IITs, most of the Dalit, tribal and OBC faculty are at the entry level, which is where the institutes provided reservation. 

At IIMs, where there is no reservation as of now, 90 per cent of the faculty are from the general category. Of the 18 IIMs that shared data with the government (barring IIM Ahmedabad and Indore), 16 did not have a single ST faculty member and 12 did not have any representation from the SC category. Seven of the IIMs had no OBC faculty. The SC, ST faculty are just 1.5 per cent of the total faculty pool.

Faculty reservation in IIMs has been a contentious issue. The central government has in the past ordered IIMs to ensure caste-based reservation but this is the first time that it has issued such a clear directive asking the institutions to follow it. 

Also read: IIT fixation fades? 29% of students who cleared JEE Mains opted out of JEE Advanced in 2019


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  1. Definitely there is a need for equal representation but there should be a balance.
    We already have reservation in teacher posts in other institute so just bcz someone is not getting reservation in IIT doesn’t mean he has less opportunity and keeping the global perspective in mind it’s important to ensure the quality of education offered in premier institutes

    Balance is by offering reservation in most place while keeping few institutions outside the ambit of reservation

    Soln instead of giving direct entry we should give reservation at lower level and work on providing basic infrastructure to make them at par with general category.
    This will be expedient in long run

  2. On the one hand we raise a hue and cry when Indian universities are ranked poorly in THE and other rankings. We then turn around and mandate, “Follow quota rules!” No world-class university has 50% reservation. No institute with 50% reservation can become world-class. The faculty selection at IIT/IIM is based on merit, which is why they are still the last hope in higher education. Many faculty there are OBCs, and were selected because they were good and not because of their caste. No international journal has a reservation policy for publication of papers. The NITs have been besieged with casteist politics and mediocrity. Don’t let the IITs go down this senseless path.

    • See the SBI officers recent exams results . The so called genius by birth economically backward higher caste people did not get even the required minimum marks to fill 10 percent and they got far below marks compare with SC/ST. So please don’t speak about merit. If everyone get fair chance to compete others automatically they will come up

      • Nobody is claiming genius by birth—selection based on merit does not mean selecting upper caste candidates. You need to take off your Dravidian lens and see reality.

        “If everyone get fair chance to compete others automatically they will come up.” Exactly. And the way to go about that is to provide high quality school education. It is axiomatic that this is the only way to uplift the SC/STs or anyone else (as the Bihar Super 30 has been showing every year). The SC/ST leadership will not ever clamor for quality school education but only for more reservation. An educated constituency would be their undoing and they know it only too well.

        • The entire higher level Government machinery be it bureaucracy or politics members of higher castes are dominant..I wonder why aren’t they spending money on improving education in backward areas where predominantly these vulnerable groups resides. Had they been sincere enough there would have been a change in gras root education but it’s dismal and very discouraging. Even though these people are striving hard despite govt. apathy & upper caste harassment to break free of their miseries.

          • Why aren’t the OBC, MBC, SC/ST people not clamouring for better quality schools? Why are they after more reservation? Why do more and more groups want to be classified as “backward”? The so-called leaders of these people cannot be at the top for any extended period because no leader can survive without support from their constituency. Have you heard of any agitation by this section of the people asking for high quality schools? What is preventing them for demanding this?

  3. This is bound to dilute excellence and merit in our few globally respected educational institutions. All politics is a compromise between what is expedient and what is the long term national interest. The pendulum has now swung almost completely to one side.

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