he Federation of Central Universities Teachers Association (FEDCUTA) has alleged that the Modi government is sitting on quota roster decision for the fear of upper caste votes. Appointments of academic staff in institutes is on hold since July following an order by the Allahabad High Court.
FEDCUTA President Prof Rajib Ray told India Today TV that the Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar had assured an ordinance to restore the previous reservation roster but now since Parliament is in session the government should bring in a bill. The HC verdict in March had struck down 200-point roster treating college/university as unit following which UGC had announced 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 leaving them at a disadvantage. The stalemate has resulted in colleges/universities forced to run classes with ad hoc teachers.
“Immediately after the HC verdict on March 5, FEDCUTA, DUTA and several other Universities Teachers Associations protested it, after our representations to HRD Minister, we were promised that the Government will file an appeal in the Supreme Court,” said Prof Ray. “We had been repeatedly telling the government to bring an ordinance to restore the old roster, but it has so far done nothing except for filing an appeal due to which appointments have come to a standstill,” he further said.
Prof Ray claimed that since all the political parties, including Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, CPM and CPI have supported the Teachers Association on the issue, so the government should have no problem if it introduces bill to restore the 200-point roster. “They should have done this in April itself,” he said.
Prof Ray said that it was shocking to see that immediately after the HC order came, 7 to 10 universities came up with advertisements according to the new anti-reservation roster, clearly indicating that in the academics the anti-reservation position is a major position. “The indecisiveness of the government has resulted in vacancies rising to 50 per cent in Delhi University Colleges alone and both reserved as well as the general category candidates seeking jobs are suffering,” he added.
There is no urgency to fill vacant Teachers Associations of the state and central universities have formed a Joint Forum for Movement (JFME) to carry out a march on February 19 next year to protest against the Modi Government’s education policy. “There will teachers from KG to PG protesting in the capital against the policy attack that has happened against publicly funded institutions,” said Prof Ray. “The graded autonomy bills, attempt to dismantle UGC, replacing ‘grants’ from the UGC, with ‘loans’ from Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) for infrastructure, this is all an attempt towards privatisation and commercialisation of the education sector,” he added.