New Delhi: Even as the
government is pushing for affirmative action for the Scheduled
Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the field of
education, most of the posts reserved for teachers from these
categories are lying vacant in 40 central universities across the
Figures from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) show
that less than a third (29 percent) of the total sanctioned posts
for SCs have been filled in 40 central universities. Of the total
of 2,521 sanctioned SC posts, only 742 have been filled. For STs,
out of 1,265 sanctioned posts, only 331 (26 percent) have been
Take the case of Delhi University. It has 255 posts for SCs and
128 for STs, but appointments have been made for only 44 SC and 14
In Jawaharlal Nehru University, 109 posts have been sanctioned for
SCs and 62 for STs. The university has, however, hired only 24 SC
and 46 ST teachers for these posts.
In Jamia Millia Islamia, only 58 of the 124 sanctioned posts for
SCs have been filled. For STs, the university has 62 sanctioned
posts, of which only 17 have been filled.
The situation is worse in the Aligarh Muslim University. It has
only one SC teacher, and not a single ST teacher - against the
sanctioned number of 283 for SC and 142 for STs.
The Indira Gandhi National Open University has filled up only 28
of the 67 sanctioned posts for SCs and 13 of the 33 posts for STs.
The situation is however better in the central universities in
Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan
and Tamil Nadu, with the institutions filling up more than 90
percent of the vacancies for SCs and STs.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes says the issue has
been taken up several times, but nothing has happened so far.
"We have taken up this issue, but so far nothing has happened," T.
Theethan, Joint Secretary of the commission, told IANS.
"The SCs and other such groups can be empowered only through
education, but they are being discriminated against in this very
field," he said.
Theethan added that a committee was being formed to fill up the
vacant posts in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
"We have formed a committee. First we will look into the vacant
posts in the BHU, and then we will look at other central as well
as other universities," he said.
The HRD ministry however says sanctioning of new posts has added
to the numbers.
"In view of the expansion in the 11th plan period and increase in
the intake capacity of students, central universities have been
sanctioned additional teaching posts," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal
said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
A ministry official said it had written to the central
universities to launch a special drive to fill the vacancies for
SCs and STs.
"The HRD minister has written to the UGC (University Grants
Commission) chairman to ensure filling up of the backlog
vacancies," the official said.
The official said the UGC, while approving the budget for central
universities for 2011-12, had directed the universities to fill up
the vacant posts. This was followed by communications in January
A Delhi University professor, not wanting to be named, told IANS
that the posts were not getting filled because there were not
enough qualified candidates.
"There are some basic qualification requirements, which we need to
maintain for quality in the central universities," the professor
Asked if the seats could be converted to general, the HRD ministry
official says "there have been such proposals, but there is a big
question mark on the constitutionality of such a step. We have not
taken any decision on it".
(Anjali Ojha can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)