Obc quota
Source: patrika.com

Under OBC Quota, many educational institutions did not recruit a single teacher since 2020.

According to UGC data, JNU, DU, BHU & Allahabad University, among others, did not have a sole professor under OBC quota as of 1 January 2020.

Central universities all over the country have as many as 313 professor-level posts ruled for candidates relating to Other Backward Classes (OBCs). However, appointments have been made for only 2.8 percent of these posts as of August 2020.

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According to the latest University Grants Commission (UGC) data accessed by ThePrint, there are presently only nine OBC professors teaching in the central universities across India. That means, leaving 304 posts sanctioned under the quota vacant.

The data also shows significant central universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University (DU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Allahabad University, also many others had not nominated a single professor under OBC quota since 1 January 2020.

The situation is slightly better at the associate professor level, where 5.17 percent of the sanctioned OBC posts have been restored. While the digit of sanctioned posts at this level across central universities is 735, those filled are 38.

It is at the assistant professor level where OBCs have better articulation. Nearly 60 percent of the sanctioned seats for OBCs have been filled at this level. Against 2,232 consented posts, 1,327 have been restored.

The situation appears to light at a time when the Centre is looking at changing the definition of the “creamy layer” in OBC reservation which includes salary as a component to specify the income ceiling. The move has been thwarted by several OBC MPs from the BJP, besides the National Backward Classes Commission (NCBC).

Both OBC MPs and the NCBC are of the view that tweaking the creamy layer explanation in this fashion would further reduce their scanty articulation in government institutions.

At a meeting last month, Home Minister Amit Shah had inquired the NCBC to collate data of OBC representation across government institutions and offices.

The central universities are universities that have been ascertained by an Act of Parliament and are under the purview of the Department of Higher Education in the Union Ministry of Education.

Not much has altered since 2019 ordinance

According to the NCBC official noted above, the explanation behind the abysmal representation of OBCs in top teaching posts is the fact that the UGC had in 2016 discarded the 27 percent OBC reservation, as required by the Supreme Court, for higher posts.

The UGC had in 2016 sanctioned that the 27 percent OBC reservation in teaching positions was prohibited to the level of assistant professor.

In 2019, however, the government fulfilled the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Ordinance, 2019, which provides for “the reservation of posts in appointments by direct recruitment of persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the socially and educationally backward classes, to teachers’ cadre in certain Central Educational Institutions established, retained or aided by the Central Government– thereby, furthermore earmarking seats for OBC candidates in elevated teaching offices.

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However, even a year after that Act was passed, not much has shifted. There are very limited OBC appointments that occur at higher levels, the NCBC official asserted. More often than not, institutes say that they don’t find enough deserving competitors. But is it possible that across the country, several central institutes don’t find one OBC candidate who is commendable enough to become a professor?

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