More Than 60% Faculty Posts Reserved for SCs, OBCs in IIMs Vacant: Education Minister

New Delhi: More than 60% of the posts reserved for Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Caste faculty members at the Indian Institutes of Management across the country remain vacant, and that number is more than 80% for faculty posts reserved for Scheduled Tribes.

This data was revealed by Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank as a written response to a Lok Sabha question asked by three Congress MPs. Nishank also said that more than 50% of faculty positions for OBCs remain vacant in all central higher education institutions on average, as do more than 40% of posts for SCs and STs.

These vacancies, The Hindu reported, are even higher when it comes to posts of professor. “Out of 709 assistant professor positions reserved for STs at the 42 universities, more than 500 have been filled. However, when it comes to professors, only nine positions have been filled out of the 137 reserved for ST candidates. This means 93% of these posts remain unfilled. Less than 1% of the 1,062 professors in central universities are from ST communities,” the newspaper said.

Also read: The Never-Ending Scourge of Bullying at Indian Institutions

Nishank’s response, though, claims that reservations are being implemented. “Now, after implementation of ‘The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019’, the OBC reservation has been implemented at all levels.” While the education ministry monitors vacancies, he said, the final responsibility of filling posts lies with the universities. “However, the onus of filling up the teaching posts lies on Central Universities which are autonomous bodies created under Acts of Parliament,” he said.

The Hindu reports that in June 2019, the University Grants Commission had written to central universities, giving them a six-month deadline to fill vacancies or face their grants being withheld.

That several so-called elite institutions have been slow in implementing reservations is well known. In January 2020, for instance, 20 IIMs had asked the Centre to exempt them from reserving teaching posts for SCs, STs and OBCs. The education ministry has opened the door for such requests by earlier announcing that varsities deemed to be ‘Institutions of Excellence’ by the Central government need not implement the reservation policy.

Featured image: IIM Ahmedabad. Photo: Mahargh Shah/CC BY-SA 3.0/ Wikimedia Commons