The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry may bring in an ordinance to undo the Allahabad High Court order which paved the way for the University Grant Commission (UGC’s) new formula for calculating reservation in teaching positions. The Union Government had approached the Supreme Court in April this year in a bid to roll back UGC’s March 5 order, which announced that reservation for teachers will be calculated department-wise, instead of being based on the total posts in a university.
A report published in the The Indian Express stated that on July 9, the higher education regulator asked all universities to put their teacher recruitment “on hold” till the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the HRD Ministry is decided by the apex court.
The report further stated that the higher education regulator’s order was based on the Allahabad High Court verdict of April 2017 when, while hearing a case on teachers’ recruitment at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), it had said each department, rather than the entire university, should be treated as the “unit” on which reservations are based.
The order sparked a row as it could shrink the number of SC, ST and OBC teachers in higher education. Following the political furore over UGC’s order, the Government had decided to file an SLP against the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Supreme Court.
(The HRD Ministry decision will have positive bearing for the SC/ST teaching faculty of the northeastern States who comprise a good chunk in the universities and colleges of the region)
The matter was last heard this week and it has now been listed for the next hearing in October. In wake of the above delay and with universities complaining of faculty crunch, the Government is now to open providing temporary relief to State and Central universities through an ordinance. Sources said the ordinance will be on implementing reservation in teaching jobs university-wise and not department-wise.