The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is learnt to have opposed the practice of de-reserving faculty posts at IITs after a year if they do not get filled “despite efforts”.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) had approached DoPT seeking its views on the report of a government-appointed committee, which recently recommended that IITs be exempted from reserving faculty positions.
In its comments, DoPT is learnt to have cited its order dated December 7, 2009, that states, “there is a general ban on dereservation of reserved vacancies in case of direct recruitment.” This order permits de-reservation only in exceptional cases “when a vacancy in a Group ‘A’ service cannot be allowed to remain vacant in public interest”.
Even then, the ministry has to follow procedure that involves consulting national commissions for OBC, SCs and STs before taking DoPT’s permission to open the position to general category candidates.
The 23 IITs reserve posts while recruiting faculty at the entry level of assistant professor. There is no SC/ST/OBC quota for recruiting at senior faculty posts such as associate professor and professor. Even at the entry-level, if IITs cannot find suitable SC, ST and OBC candidates, they can de-reserve these posts after a year, as per guidelines notified by the then HRD Ministry in 2008.
Quotas are offered at all three levels in humanities and management courses at IITs.
The practice of de-reserving faculty positions at IITs was mentioned in a recent report submitted by a government-appointed committee tasked to look into “effective implementation of reservation” in student admissions and faculty positions at IITs.
Instead of implementing quotas in faculty positions, the panel had suggested that the 23 IITs should be exempted from reservations altogether under the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act 2019.
The ministry had shared this report with DOPT, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for comments. While Tribal Affairs and Social Justice ministries have written back, saying they are not in favour of any exemption from reservation, DoPT has expressly objected to the practice of de-reserving faculty positions.
According to Education Ministry sources, comments of the three ministries will be deliberated by the standing committee of the IIT Council soon.
The IITs were permitted to dereserve teaching positions at the entry level after a year in 2008 after the suggestion was deliberated and accepted by the Standing Committee. Hence, now the latest report along with comments of other stakeholder ministries has been sent to the Standing Committee.