This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Simran Pavecha. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

13-Point Roster: DU Professors Explain The Mechanism Behind It

More from Simran Pavecha

The criterion for appointment of professors in universities is being changed again, this time caste playing the factor. The news of the mandatory implementation of the 13-point roster has created a stir in the academic fraternity. This shift from the 200-point roster to the 13-point roster is expected to massively affect the representation of marginalized communities in the faculty appointment system.

This happened recently, when the SC upheld the 2017 Allahabad High Court ruling which had held that “reservations in teaching posts in Universities are to be applied by taking subject/discipline as the unit, instead of university.”

The government will file a review petition in the court, and in case it is not allowed by the court, it will introduce an ordinance.

What Is The 13-Point Roster?

“In 1952, when the roster was prepared for the first time, first positions would go to SC and ST, and then to the unreserved. Then, because there was a demand and more SC/ST/ OBC were coming into the university system, a 200-point roster came in for adequate representation,” says Sukumar Narayana who teaches Political Science in Delhi University.

The 13-point roster takes a department as one unit and implements separate reservation recruitment policy for a department as a unit. The earlier prevalent system of recruitment was the 200-point roster, where a university was taken as a unit.

“It all started when, in 2006, when UGC furnished guidelines calling for a 200-point roster to take a university as one unit. But, it was implemented only 6 to 7 years later when UGC said that it would cut their funds if DU doesn’t adhere to the roster,” says Abha Dev Habib, a professor of Physics also at Delhi University.

How Does The 13-Point Roster Change Things?

A placard at a protest against the 13-point roster. (Photo: BAPSA/Facebook)

“The BHU case in the Allahabad High Court, which was decided in 2017, called for the 13-point roster. And the government, without defending its policy, sent a letter on May 5, 2018 to the universities asking them to make the roster department wise,” Dev Habib told Campus Watch.

Earlier, in the 200-point roster, 101 seats were unreserved and 99 were reserved. Since a university was taken as a unit, if there was a deficit of reserved seats within a department, it could be compensated by recruitment in some other department.

“If the University is taken as a ‘unit’ for every level of teaching and applying the roster, it could result into some departments/subjects having all reserved candidates and some having only unreserved candidates,” the Supreme Court court said.

In the 13-point roster system, the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth posts will be unreserved in a department, while the fourth will be reserved under the OBC category, the seventh will be reserved under the SC category, the 14th post will be reserved under the ST category, and the eighth and 12th under the OBC category, while the ninth, tenth and eleventh will be unreserved.

“Once this 13-point roster is accepted, if any person joins as a SC/ST or OBC, until they retire, the position will not be filled under the reserved category. So, that means, after 30 or 35 years, in the service of that candidate who joins in that centre or department, till the person retires, no one can get in. That will wipe out representation from these communities from these posts,” Narayana told Campus Watch.

Why Is The 13-Point Roster Problematic?

This change in the reservation recruitment policy would massively impact the representation of the SC, ST and OBC faculty positions.

“This problem isn’t faced in case of student reservations, because students are admitted in large numbers; the same isn’t the case with faculty. For instance, take the Bengali department at Miranda House. The first position for an SC is the 7th recruitment, next is 15th- so, how will the seats be filled in such a small department? So, many cycles of retirement will be needed for the first SC post to be filled,” said Dev Habib, highlighting a major lacuna in the new roster.

The new roster is highly inconsistent with the goal of reservation and defeats it. In case of departments where there are only 4 positions available, no reserved seats will be created ever. And in departments with less than 14 faculty positions, there will be no faculty from the ST community.

The implementation of the 13-point roster would also mean that reservations would be split in terms of posts. This means that the number of reserved posts at the level of, say, assistant professor will be determined separately for each department; calculated based on the total assistant professor posts in each department.

“Take professors, for instance. There are fewer professors in a department compared to assistant professors. If a department has only one professor, there can be no reserved posts there as reservation cannot be applied in case of a single post. But if all posts of professors across different departments are clubbed together, then naturally there is a better chance of positions being set aside for SC, ST and OBC,” said Krishnan, who has worked for social justice for the marginalized communities for decades.

In a report submitted by BHU to the HRD Ministry last year, it says that if the university were to use the 13-point roster, posts reserved under the SC category would be reduced by half, those under the ST category by almost 80%, and those for OBC teachers by 30%.

What Does The Academic Fraternity Think Of It?

“There’s heterogeneity in the classrooms: some are economically funded, some who belong to a reserved category. But, if you don’t give them reservations further on, it’s as good as telling them that they can leave after their undergraduate degrees. If there’s no affirmative action, you’d be propagating compartmentalization within the country. It’s so important to give representation to women and lower caste people: by not doing so, you are not only keeping them out of knowledge production, but, you are also preventing that section from having role models to inspire them to go ahead,” said Dev Habib.

13-Point Roster vis-a-vis 10% Economic Quota: Election Gimmicks?

The government recently announced 10% reservation in jobs and higher education for ‘economically backward’ sections. Right after that came the SC ruling about the 13 point system.

At a protest against the 13-point roster. (Photo: BAPSA/Facebook)

“When it came to OBC expansion in 2017, people having an income of 8 lakh and above were termed as creamy layer. While, people falling in the Economically Backward Category, who are mostly upper caste, hold an income of over 8 lakhs and land holding, in addition. Aren’t we failing at the terminologies we are using? It has become a joke. These are all gimmicks to sail through the election period. And, they’ll succeed.” said Dev Habib.

“But, see the irony of it. Reservation was introduced to address the denial of social justice to the communities. Now, the people who perpetuate caste violence and reservation, they are getting reservation. The 13-point roster and the EBC reservation have both been introduced within a month,” Narayana contributed.

How Does This Impact The Student?

If not a direct one, this will have an important impact on the students in the larger run, and will act as a hurdle in breaking the shackles of conditioning, Dev Habib thinks.

“If these students from SC and ST communities are not given the opportunity to become teachers, we will not be able to set an alternate discourse. The students who availed reservations earlier, when they now come and teach in classes, they will realize that the stereotypes they were fed are actually untrue; that is exactly when that conditioning breaks,” she says.

When you call the Darwin theory ‘wrong,’ when you make claims that Karna (in Mahabharata) and Ganesh are products of ‘genetic engineering,’ it only showcases the regressive attitude of the government. And that further reinforces the conditioning.

Of Protests And Marches

Hundreds of teachers have been protesting against the 13-point roster system across the country; JNUTA, DUTA, Jamia Teachers’ Union and recently, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) Hyderabad joined the row. Students and teachers in MP, Haryana, UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Kerala are expressing solidarity. They have also been receiving support from politicians, students, researchers, activists as they demand for the 200-point reservation roster to be restored.

Recently, Rahul Gandhi came out in support of the protests against the 13-point roster saying it “has eroded the spirit of reservation guaranteed under the constitution.” He wrote to Javadekar asking him to pass an ordinance and “suspend all recruitments pending resolution of this matter.”

“We are trying to put pressure on MHRD and UGC. Yesterday’s march was from UGC to MHRD, but, they detained us near Janpath. Around 30-40 students who moved ahead towards MHRD were beaten up. It was a very unfortunate situation,” concludes Narayana, stating that they would continue their protests till they see concrete action from the government.

Featured image source: Manju KV/Facebook.
You must be to comment.

More from Simran Pavecha

Similar Posts


By Priyank

By Srijani Chaudhuri

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below