Teaching posts at Banaras Hindu University for Scheduled Castes (SC) will reduce by 59 percent, for Scheduled Tribes (ST) by 80 percent, and for Other Backward Classes (OBC) by 29 percent.
This is the result of a March 5 order of the University Grants Commission (UGC) that came after an Allahabad High Court judgment in a case related to reservation in faculty positions at BHU. The UGC order applies to all universities and colleges.
The projection for reduction in teaching jobs was made by the university’s administration and is now part of a Special Leave Petition filed by the central government with the Supreme Court. The government is arguing that the Allahabad High Court judgment “drastically reduces, and, in many departments completely wipes out, the representation of members of SC/ST community”, The Indian Express reported.
The UGC had issued a notification on March 5 saying that teaching positions will be reserved for SC, ST, OBC communities out of the total teaching positions in a department instead of the total positions in the institute. The notification came after an Allahabad High Court judgment in April last year asking the higher education regulator to reserve posts department-wise.
According to data shared by the university administration, implementing the UGC order will lead to a drastic reduction in teaching positions for SC, ST, OBC communities, and increase the representation of ‘General’ category teachers. The teaching posts for SC communities will reduce from 289 to 119 (58.8 percent reduction), for ST communities from 143 to 29 (79.72 percent reduction), and for OBC communities from 310 to 220 (29.03 percent reduction). The teaching jobs for the ‘General’ category will increase from 1188 to 1562 (31.48 percent increment) under the new formula.
The reduction under the new formula happens because positions are reserved for each cadre of posts – ‘Professor’, ‘Associate Professor’, and ‘Assistant Professor’ — and there are fewer available positions at successively higher cadres within a department as a unit compared to the institute as a unit.
For example, if within a department, there are fewer than 7 posts for a cadre, the number of reserved posts starts becoming a fraction, and thus posts are not reserved. The quota for SC and ST communities is 15 percent and 7.5 percent respectively at all levels. The quota for OBC communities is 27 percent at ‘Assistant Professor’ level only.
Since the available positions at the ‘Professor’ level are the least, the reduction in the new formula will also be maximum (94.64 percent) at this level for BHU. Posts reserved for SC communities go down from 38 to 3 under the new formula and for ST communities from 18 to 0.
The positions at the ‘Associate Professor’ level – the cadre just below that of a ‘Professor’ – will reduce from 79 to 25 for SC communities and from 39 to 3 for ST communities. There will be an overall reduction in reserved posts of 76.27 percent at this level at the university.
The positions at the ‘Assistant Professor’ level will reduce by 40.67 percent, with posts for SC communities reducing from 172 to 91, for ST communities from 86 to 26, and for OBC communities from 310 to 220.
Although the central government has used this data to counter the Allahabad High Court judgment, the UGC hasn’t withdrawn its March 5 order. The higher education body hasn’t done it under the fear of being held in the contempt of the court, according to The Indian Express report. Incidentally, it was after an MHRD nod that the UGC had notified the new formula.
Earlier reports too have shown the reduction in total reserved seats for SC, ST, OBC communities in teaching positions under the new formula. In April this year, the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Madhya Pradesh – the only central university dedicated to tribal studies – had reserved just one of the 52 teaching posts it advertised for recruitment.