The Telegraph

Professor quota red face for Centre

New Delhi, Nov. 10: Less than one per cent of India’s central university professors are from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes, the latest government data show. The figure is just 10 per cent for teachers of all designations at these universities, implying more than half the faculty posts reserved for SC/STs on these campuses are vacant. This despite a “special recruitment drive” launched by the Centre four years ago to fill vacant quota seats. The revelations cast a cloud over the government’s implementation of job quotas in education. All central universities — like other government institutions — are required to reserve 15 per cent posts for the SCs and another 7.5 per cent for the STs. But only 6.7 per cent of teachers at India’s central universities are SCs, and a mere 3.5 per cent are STs, according to the data collected by the human resource development (HRD) ministry from individual universities. The data relate to 20 of India’s 23 central universities. The other three are Aligarh Muslim University, which is locked in a legal battle for minority status that exempts it from quotas, Sikkim University which started this year, and the Indira Gandhi National Open University. “These figures are extremely embarrassing for us at the HRD ministry, since Parliament is certain to ask why, even after a special drive, the vacancies exceed recruitments,” a senior ministry official said. The ministry today raised its concerns over the vacancies at a conference with the vice-chancellors of central universities and the directors of institutions like the IITs and the IIMs. In July 2004, soon after coming to power, the United Progressive Alliance government had announced the special recruitment drive to fill vacant seats reserved for SC/ST candidates. Surveys had shown that the lack of teachers applied across caste and community — there were many vacant general category seats as well. But the SC/STs were a minuscule fraction even among those recruited. The drive was seen as an acknowledgement by the government that greater effort was needed to attract SC/ST candidates to teaching so that the vacant seats could be filled. The new data, collected four years after the drive and in the run-up to a slew of Assembly elections, however, suggest that the drive may have failed. In all, the 20 universities covered in the data have 6,315 teachers in varsity departments (that is, not including teachers at individual colleges of universities like Delhi University). According to the reservation policy, at least 947 of these posts (15 per cent) should be occupied by SCs and 474 (7.5 per cent) by STs. The data collected by the HRD ministry, however, show that only 424 of the teachers are SCs and 221 are STs, suggesting that 523 SC and 253 ST seats are vacant. But the data also reveal a skew in the nature of the reserved jobs that are vacant.

The Telegraph

India’s central universities do meet their quota obligations when it comes to the post of lecturer, the entry-level post in varsities. But higher up in the faculty hierarchy, SC and ST teachers become increasingly rarer. Less than two per cent of readers at central universities are SCs, and STs fare no better, the data show. In the 20 central universities, only 12 professors are SCs, while the number is 22 for STs. Together, they make up less than one per cent of the total number of professors at India’s central universities.

Varsity BHU DU Jamia JNU Nehu* VisvaBharati

Total teachers 1532 719 601 473 274 576

SC 86 37 49 27 2 54

ST 24 7 19 11 44 19

Vacant SC Vacant ST 144 71 41 44 39 32 91 47 26 24 More than quota 24

*Northeastern Hill University