Private Universities Bill is set to be tabled in budget session of Parliament. It will bring in caste-based reservation as well as the new 10% EWS quota.
New Delhi: India’s private higher education institutions are set to come under the ambit of reservation for the first time. The central government is working on a Private Universities Bill that will make it mandatory for such institutions to have the existing caste-based quotas as well as the new 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections (EWS) of society.
At present, many private education institutions do not grant reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, since it is mentioned in the Constitution but not mandated by it. Article 15 (5) of the Constitution empowers the state to set reservation quotas for private institutions too, whether or not they are aided by the government. Only minority institutions have been left out of this provision.
The Private Universities Bill is designed to get rid of this confusion, said a senior official in the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Without divulging any details about its contents, the official said the bill is likely to be introduced in the budget session of Parliament.
The All India Survey of Higher Education 2017-18 showed that there are 32,426 private institutions in India, including 343 universities, 25,383 colleges and 6,700 standalone institutions.
EWS quota push
The HRD ministry has decided to increase 25 per cent seats across India’s higher education institutes to accommodate the additional 10 per cent reservation for EWS, which was recently cleared by both Houses of Parliament.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) wrote a letter to all centrally-funded universities and their affiliated colleges on 18 January, directing them to start the process to grant EWS reservation from the session 2019-20. The government has also asked the institutions to furnish the programme-wise seat matrix, along with the possible financial requirements to the UGC before 31 January.
However, for private institutions to start implementing the quota, the new bill will have to be passed first.