Lok Sabha clears 10% quota in jobs for EWS in central institutes

Once the bill is passed it will bring social equity in hiring at central universities, said HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal. (Photo: Sanjeev Verma/ HT)

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the much-touted Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019, with near unanimity.

The bill seeks to have 10% reservation in jobs for the economically weaker section (EWS) in central institutions, besides effecting other statutory reservations in hiring of professors by considering an university as a single unit, instead of a department.

The Lower House of Parliament debated the bill for nearly four hours, before a consensus was reached by a majority of political parties. The Congress, which wanted it to be referred to a parliamentary standing committee for a detailed discussion, later gave in.

The leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, initiated the discussion, which was attended by more than a dozen members of various political parties. “I am not opposing the core concept of the bill, rather I am objecting to the ordinance route…I am proposing a detailed scrutiny that can only be done by a standing committee,” Choudhary argued.

However, the Lok Sabha did not approve of the move by the Congress and passed the teachers’ reservation bill by a voice vote.

Once the bill is passed it will bring social equity in hiring at central universities, and also pave the way for recruitment of thousands of professors, said human resource development minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. At present, there is a vacancy of more than 7,000 teaching posts at central universities, Nishank said.

Unless the SC/ST and OBC reservation is implemented by taking the university and college as a unit, the reserved category candidates will fall behind in the recruitment process, the minister said. The HRD ministry has assessed 21 universities.

If reservation is implemented at the associate professor level by taking an university as a unit, then 309 scheduled tribe candidates will get chance, but if it is done at the department level, then only 66 ST candidates will get a job, the minister reasoned.

Supriya Sule of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supported the bill, but sought a clarification on how the government will implement reservation for selecting vice chancellors. Her question was, however, not entertained.

BJP parliamentarian Pritam Gopinath Munde demanded a fresh OBC enumeration to find out if 27% reservation is enough for them.

The controversy around reservation surfaced in April 2017 after Aallhabad high court struck down some provisions on teacher recruitment, forcing the University Grants Commission to rewrite rules that allowed reservation at the department level.

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