Students oppose recommendation to scrap quota in IIT faculty recruitment

A number of student bodies have strongly condemned the recommendation to scrap reservations in recruitment of faculty in IITs, made by the committee constituted by Ministry of Education (MoE). They urged the Union government to completely reject the panel’s recommendations.

On December 16, The Hindu had carried a report on the MoE panel’s recommendation that faculty quotas be done away with at the IITs. Condemnation also came from Madurai MP Su. Venkatesan of CPI (M), who had previously raised questions about the functioning of the committee, and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK).

ChintaBar, a students collective from IIT-Madras, said that the recommendations were “utterly disappointing.” “IITs should delve deeper into the problems and issues of under representation rather than coming up with regressive proposals to withdraw reservations,” it said.

Highlighting that the committee was formed to suggest measures for effective implementation of reservation policies, Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle of IIT-Madras said that the committee has, however, done the opposite. “Reservation policies are already not implemented properly in IITs for admissions to M.S and Ph.D programmes and faculty appointments,” it said.

Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) of IIT-Bombay blamed the committee for its claim that IITs were following reservation norms in all academic levels.

Arguing that APPSC has repeatedly highlighted several violation of reservation policies in IITs through data obtained under the Right to Information Act, it said, “Instead of highlighting wrongs in the existing selection process and recommending ways to correct those, the committee carries their casteist ignorance and leaves the blame on the candidates from reserved categories for not being ‘qualified enough’.”

Students Federation of India (SFI), in a statement released by its national president V.P. Sannu and general secretary Mayukhs Biswas, blamed the committee for its “lack of seriousness” in analysing the issue. Claiming that SFI’s intervention played a key role in MoE acknowledging the issue of severe lack of students from reserved categories in Ph. D admissions, the statement urged the government to reevaluate the bottlenecks and biases in the selection process.

Mr. Venkatesan said that the committee has acted against the purpose for which it was constituted. “The report shows that the committee has not shown any seriousness. A minimum expectation of such a committee will be to go into the actual data on the representation of students and faculty members of reserved categories in IITs. It has not even done that,” he said.

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