The Human Resource Development Ministry, which ordered recruitment to be put on hold last July, will issue a circular removing the bar.
New Delhi: Universities across India can start hiring again with the Supreme Court ending a year-long stalemate over tweaked quota norms.
The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected the government’s appeal against an Allahabad High Court order that changed the way quotas were implemented in faculty hiring.
In April 2017, the Allahabad High Court had directed that instead of quotas being calculated on the basis of the number of teaching posts in an institute, they should be defined by the faculty strength of each department.
Widely criticised as detrimental to affirmative action, the order was meant to ensure teachers from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes were fairly represented in each department.
In light of the Supreme Court order, the Ministry of Human Resource Development will now have to send out a circular to all universities, informing them that they can start hiring again on the basis of department-wise quotas.
“Hiring can now begin in universities and colleges because the Supreme Court has announced its verdict and it is the law of the land,” said a senior official in the ministry.
“After we read the order thoroughly, we will issue a fresh circular to all universities intimating them that they can start the procedure officially,” the official added.
A controversial order
The Supreme Court had upheld the high court order earlier as well, in October 2017, leading the University Grants Commission (UGC) to issue a circular last March to direct the implementation of the new quota formula. However, as the norms came under censure from several quarters, including Dalit bodies, teacher associations as well as constituents of the ruling coalition, NDA, the government last July asked institutions across India to put recruitment on hold till the Supreme Court decided on its fresh challenge.
Former minister of state for HRD Upendra Kushwaha, the chief of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) who has since split from the NDA, was among those who had opposed the order.
Kushwaha and other NDA allies had discussed the matter with the Prime Minister in July and requested the government to put the “controversial” quota system on hold owing to fears that it will drastically cut the number of reserved teaching posts.