Delhi University teachers demand ordinance on reservation roster for teaching positions

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has written to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar demanding an ordinance on reservation roster for teaching positions in higher education institutions (HEIs).

The DUTA wrote a letter to Javadekar, urging him to bring a bill or ordinance to restore the 200-point reservation roster on the basis of college or university as a unit.

“You have reiterated on more than one occasion the intention of the Union government to promulgate an ordinance to restore the college or university wise reservation roster. Recent disturbing developments and their far-reaching implications require immediate steps for bringing such a bill or ordinance,” the DUTA said in the letter.

The department-wise roster will result in a massive reduction of teaching posts for aspirants from ST, SC and OBC backgrounds, thereby drastically reducing their representation and participation in higher education, the teachers’ body said in the letter.

“It will push out from universities a large number of teachers from ST, SC and OBC backgrounds who have been working on ad hoc or temporary basis with a hope of getting permanent jobs,” the DUTA said.

Additionally, in the colleges of Delhi University, an unforgivable chaotic situation is going to arise unless the government moves immediately, it added.

“For past several years, over 4,000 teachers in Delhi University and its colleges have been working on ad hoc basis. Since 2013, they have been employed as per 200-point roster treating college as a unit,” the DUTA said.

They are subjected to enforced breaks after every four months and reappointed thereafter. Any change from the college or university-wise roster will change the nature of the posts against which they are working, it said.

“Change in the nature of teaching posts will affect teachers from all categories. Mass displacement of teachers will also result in loss of livelihood for many,” the letter said.

The UGC had announced in March last that an individual department should be considered as the base unit to calculate the number of teaching posts to be reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates following an order by the Allahabad High Court in April 2017.

The HRD Ministry had filed a special leave petition against the court order which was rejected by the Supreme Court order. The teachers have already made representations for putting in place a UGC regulation for one-time absorption of these teachers given the fact that the process of permanent appointment in the DU.

DUTA protested on Thursday in the varsity campus against the Supreme Court decision of rejecting the ministry’s special leave petition.

The letter:

Sh. Prakash Javadekar
Hon’ble Minister, Human Resources Development
Shastri Bhavan
New Delhi – 110001
Date: 24.01.2019

Sub: Demand for immediately bringing a Bill/ Ordinance restoring 200 pt. Reservation Roster with College/University as Unit for Teaching Posts in the context of the Hon’ble Supreme Court verdict on the SLP.

Dear Shri Javadekar,

We seek your urgent attention to the many representations submitted by the DUTA to you urging you to bring a Bill/ Ordinance to restore the 200 point reservation roster on the basis of college/university as unit.

We have made submissions with ample evidence to show that Constitutionally-mandated percentages of Reservation cannot be met otherwise given the small size of the cadre strength in case each department of a university or each subject in a college is treated as the unit of reservation roster. The directive issue by the UGC in 2006 to the universities for adoption of college/university as unit of reservation roster was based on this very argument. The Special Leave Petition by the Union Government challenging the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court order on the matter was based on the same premise. You have reiterated on more than one occasion the intention of the Union Government to promulgate an Ordinance to restore the college/university wise reservation roster. Recent disturbing developments and their far-reaching implications require immediate steps for bringing such a Bill/ Ordinance.

We had earlier brought to your notice that the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in WRIT – A No. – 24658 of 2018 Akhil Mishra vs State of U.P. & six others (including the Union of India and the University Grants Commission) had issued an order on 30 November 2018 keeping in abeyance the effect and operation of the 19 July 2018 UGC notification to all Central Universities, State Universities and Deemed to be Universities receiving grant-in-aid from the UGC, directing these to not go ahead with recruitment. This notification was to stay the operation of the UGC notification dated 5 March 2018 to switch to department/subject wise roster once the Union Government decided to file the SLP.

Now with the dismissal of the Union Government’s SLP by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the advertisements, with almost all posts unreserved, issued by several new Central Universities on the basis of department/subject wise reservation roster can become operational.

As is evident from the advertisements issued by several universities as per the 5 March 2018 UGC/MHRD Notification, the Department/Subject-wise Roster will result in a massive reduction of teaching posts for aspirants from ST, SC and OBC backgrounds, thereby drastically reducing their representation and participation in higher education. It will push out from universities a large number of teachers from ST, SC and OBC background who have been working on adhoc or temporary basis with a hope of getting permanent jobs. It is important to underline that this set of teachers is the very first generation which was to avail representation in teaching profession through reservation. This change in Reservation Roster is also an attack on the livelihood and job prospects of dalit-adivasi students.

Such an eventuality demands Government intervention.

Additionally, in the colleges of the University of Delhi, an unforgivable chaotic situation is going to arise unless the Government moves immediately. For past several years, over 4000 teachers in Delhi University and its colleges have been working on adhoc basis. Since 2013, they have been employed as per 200 point Roster treating College as a unit. They are subjected to enforced breaks after every four months and reappointed thereafter. Any change from the college/university-wise roster will change the nature of the posts against which they are working. Change in the nature of teaching posts (UR to reserved, from one reserved category to another or into UR) will affect teachers from all categories. Mass displacement of teachers will also result in loss of livelihood for many.

The DUTA has already made representations to you for putting in place a UGC Regulation for One-time absorption of these teachers given the fact that the process of permanent appointment in the University of Delhi has been stalled for over a decade barring occasional exceptions. They have shouldered the responsibility of carrying out teaching-learning as well as examination-evaluation under extremely trying, insecure and exploitative conditions of work. It is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that such mass displacement and academic mayhem do not take place.

The DUTA, therefore, reiterates its demands for a Bill/ Ordinance restoring the 200 point Reservation Roster with College/University as Unit.

With warm regards,

Rajib Ray, President Vivek Chaudhary, Secretary

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