Teachers' quota plea to President
New Delhi: The Delhi University Teachers' Association has appealed to the President to intervene and prevent implementation of a high court judgment that is expected to reduce the number of teachers from marginalised sections in universities, the organisation's president Rajib Ray said on Monday.
Allahabad High Court had in April last year ruled that teaching job quotas should be calculated department-wise instead of university-wise, dismaying the disadvantaged communities.
Until now, an educational institution as a whole was taken as a unit while implementing teaching job reservations. Since an institution like a university generally has a large number of teaching posts, a fairly large number of vacancies tend to crop up from time to time.
This made it easy to set aside three chunks of posts for the reserved categories - 27 per cent for the Other Backward Classes, 15 per cent for the Scheduled Castes and 7.5 per cent for the Scheduled tribes.
For instance, if a university needed to fill 80 seats, 22 would be earmarked for the OBCs, 12 for Dalits and 6 for tribal candidates, accounting for 40 reserved seats in all.
However, if reservation is implemented independently for a department with, say, four seats, the split can only be: three for general candidates and one for an OBC (since 27 per cent comes to about one-fourth).
A Dalit candidate will be eligible only for the seventh vacancy - that is, after three more teachers have retired or quit. A tribal candidate will have to wait years, if not decades, for the 13th vacancy in the department.
However, this can happen only if the department has 13 or more teaching posts, a Delhi University teacher explained.
If the department has fewer seats - say, seven - then, after the seventh vacancy, the next vacancy will be counted not as the eighth vacancy but as the first of a fresh round of vacancies. The process will then be repeated till the seventh vacancy again.
So, no Scheduled Tribe quota teacher would ever be recruited to a department with less than 13 teaching posts, the teacher said. No Dalit quota teacher will make it to a department with less than seven posts, and no OBC teacher to one with less than four posts.
Although the government hasn't officially clarified whether this is indeed the way quotas will be implemented if the high court judgment withstands legal challenge, recent teacher recruitment ads put out by two universities seem to corroborate the interpretation of the teacher who spoke to this newspaper.
The Central University of Rajasthan and Banaras Hindu University advertised 33 and 80 teaching posts, respectively, treating every department as a separate unit.
Together they reserved six posts for Dalits, 12 for the OBCs and zero for tribal teachers out of 113 seats. Had each university been taken as a unit, the OBCs would have got 31 posts, Dalits 17 and tribal candidates up to 9.
Several other universities like the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Madhya Pradesh, Central University of Tamil Nadu and the Central University of Haryana too had issued recruitment ads for teachers under the new regime in early April this year.
The Supreme Court had last year upheld the high court ruling against an individual petitioner's challenge. The government, which had not been heard thoroughly at the time, appealed against the high court ruling on April 20 this year. It will be heard next month.#