The University Grants Commission (UGC) last month decided to implement a new formula for reservation in teaching posts in the university. Now, if Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) decides to accept the decision, it could result in lesser positions for SC, ST and OBC faculty on university campuses. As per the report by the Indian Express, UGC took a decision that the number of reserved faculty posts shall now be calculating according to the departments in a university and not based on the aggregate posts. P S Krishnan, the former secretary to the central government and an expert on the subject, was reported as saying that the proposed change could result in fewer positions for SCs, STs and OBCs.
While hearing a case on teachers’ recruitment in Banaras Hindu University in April this year, the Allahabad High Court held that reservation in teaching posts has to be applied department-wise by treating the department as a “unit” and not the university. The court criticised UGC for applying reservation in a “blanket manner” and advised the regulator to revisit its implementation. As per the report, the new formula came in as the response to a verdict of the court.
The number of SC, ST, OBC faculty positions currently are calculated by treating the university as a “unit”. This practice grouped or clubbed together all the reserved quota for all posts of the same grade, across different departments in a university. If the new UGC formula is accepted by the HRD ministry, the reservation would be applied by treating each department in a university as a “unit”. This means the number of reserved posts at the same level will be determined separately for each department; calculated based on the total posts in each department.