THE BIG SQUEEZE IN UNIVERSITY RESERVATIONS
In March, the University Grants Commission, following an Allahabad High Court decision, later upheld by the Supreme Court, announced a new policy for faculty reservations, in which an academic department, rather than the university as a whole, would be treated as a single unit for calculating available posts. As a result, according to data compiled by the ministry of social justice and empowerment, the available reserved jobs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in particular have dwindled to next to nothing. Officials are now arguing for government intervention to overturn the policy. The figures since March show that of the hundreds of faculty positions that have become available, only a handful have been reserved, far fewer than would be the case under the old rules. Back in May, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association led a protest against the new UGC policy, pointing out that were the “notification not withdrawn, it would set the affirmative policy of social justice through reservation back by decades”.