The Union government on Thursday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to implement for the first time a quota for economically weaker section (EWS) in the recruitment of professors in government-run higher educational institutions.
The central government has already decided to implement the 10% EWS quota for eligible students from the current academic year by increasing the seat strength by 25%. However, this is the first time that the Centre has moved to reserve 10% in faculty hiring for EWS candidates.
Teachers at central universities do not seem too happy with introduction of an EWS quota without adequate provision of increasing the faculty strength.
“You increase the student intake by 25% to implement 10% EWS quota but make no provision for increasing faculty strength. In Delhi University alone we need 2,500 more professors to accommodate the EWS student increase," said Aditya Narayan Mishra, a professor at Delhi University.
“A 10% EWS quota for teachers is fine but it has to be in addition to the current teaching staff strength," said Mishra.
The Central Educational Institutions Reservation in Teachers Cadre Bill 2019 also seeks to provide reservation to Schedule Castes (SCs), Schedule Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) in teaching jobs at government-run higher educational institutes by taking the whole institution as a unit instead of departments and courses.
Once passed by Parliament, the bill will pave way for the recruitment of thousands of SC, ST and OBC candidates as teaching staff. Also, it will quell opposition from the teaching community who have been protesting for the last couple of years after a change in the reservation system following a Allahabad high court ruling in 2017.
Once the bill becomes an Act, it will also replace an ordinance promulgated in March this year related to teachers reservation.