Centre Directs Government Universities to Fill Vacant, Reserved SC/ST/OBC Posts
The Centre’s University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all Indian central and state universities to fill vacant teaching and non-teaching positions reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and Other Backward Caste (OBC) candidates. In a circular sent Tuesday, the UGC also asked all universities for transparency and follow-up updates on the same.
The move follows multiple reports of central and state universities’ low hiring rates. In 2019, almost 28% of total faculty posts in state and university colleges were empty. Plus, more than 97% of professor positions set aside for OBC candidates across 40 central universities were empty, according to an RTI filed in August 2020.
According to data from the Education Ministry, 6,210 teaching positions and 12,437 sanctioned non-teaching positions are vacant in central universities. In the 2019-20 academic year, there were 300 vacant teaching positions for OBC candidates, 172 for SC candidates, and 73 for ST candidates. The number of vacant positions for all three reservation categories had increased since 2017-18, according to News18. There is no clear data for vacancies by specific reservation at state universities.
In a September 2020 Parliament session, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal stated, “The Universities have also been requested to take steps to ensure that the vacancies in the Universities as well as in the colleges affiliated to the Universities are filled up at the earliest. However, the onus of filling up the teaching posts lies on Central Universities which are autonomous bodies created under Acts of Parliament.”
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The UGC circular, however, demands, “…strict compliance of Government of lndia orders/rules on the reservation in their institutions.” The circular states, “You are required to display the reservation roster, which is to be updated at regular intervals on your website as per instructions issued by the Govt. of India,” and, “You are also requested to fill up remaining backlog identified reserved vacancies of these categories in teaching and non-teaching posts, to furnish a report along with statistical information.”
Apart from teaching positions, the UGC has also asked Universities to comply with reservation rules related to student admission for the new 2020-21 academic year.