'7000 Reserved Posts In 45 Central Universities, 3000 Are vacant', Says Rahul Gandhi

'7000 Reserved Posts In 45 Central Universities, 3000 Are vacant', Says Rahul Gandhi

Congress demands dismissal of UGC Chairman over draft guidelines for de-reservation of posts, alleging conspiracy to end SC, ST, and OBC reservation in higher education institutions.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 06:55 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi |

Stepping up attack, the Congress on Monday demanded the dismissal of UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar over the draft guidelines for "de-reservation" of posts in higher education institutions, with party leader Rahul Gandhi alleging it was a "conspiracy" to end the reservation given to SC, ST and OBC categories.

The party had on Sunday demanded the immediate withdrawal of the UGC's draft guidelines proposing that any vacancy reserved for SC, ST and OBC candidates can be "declared unreserved" if enough candidates from these categories are not available.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, however, has clarified that not a single post will be de-reserved and there is no scope for ambiguity about reservations after the introduction of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Act, 2019.

In a post in Hindi on X, Gandhi claimed it was an attempt by BJP and RSS to "eliminate" the participation of deprived sections and the party demanded that Kumar should apologise to the entire backward classes.

"In the new draft of UGC, there is a conspiracy to end the reservation given to SC, ST and OBC categories in higher education institutions.

"Today, out of approximately 7000 reserved posts in 45 central universities, 3000 are vacant, and of which only 7.1 per cent are Dalit, 1.6 per cent are tribal and 4.5 per cent are backward class professors.

"The BJP-RSS, which have even talked about reviewing reservation, now want to snatch the jobs of the deprived classes from such higher education institutions," Gandhi alleged.

"This is an attempt to kill the dreams of the heroes who have fought for social justice and to eliminate the participation of the deprived sections," he said.

Gandhi said this was the difference between 'politics of symbolism' and 'real justice' and reflected the character of the BJP.

He said Congress will never allow this to happen and will continue to fight for social justice. Vacant posts will be filled only with qualified candidates from reserved categories, the former Congress chief asserted.

Addressing a press conference alongside Congress' SC Department chief Rajesh Lilothia, Chairman of Unorganised Workers and Employees Congress Udit Raj said after the Congress party protested against the "anti-people" move, the UGC was forced to issue a statement in the media that there is no such decision.

"Let us not forget that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had earlier revealed his anti-reservation mindset. Ever since the Modi government has come to power, there has been dilution of reservation in educational institutions," he alleged.

"The UGC move has substantiated our apprehension on what Mohan Bhagwat and the RSS intended. There is no justification to say that eligible candidates are not available. It has been in vogue since long to say that candidates are not found suitable," Raj said.

There are hundreds and thousands of cases where deserving candidates are available but are rejected on discriminatory grounds, he said and cited the case of a DU academic.

"Rahul Gandhi ji has already raised the issue of highly unrepresented OBC at secretary-level in Government of India.

"The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’s main objective is to secure social and economic justice for the people of India. On the contrary, the Modi government is hell-bent upon diluting the representation of SC, ST and OBC in governance," Raj alleged.

He alleged that most of the appointments in educational institutions since 2014 are from the RSS background.

In his remarks, Lilothia alleged BJP and RSS want to snatch the right to education given to SC, ST, OBC and women in the Constitution.

"Our demand is that UGC chairman Jagadesh Kumar should be dismissed with immediate effect and he should apologise to the entire 'Bahujan' community," Lilothia said.

"UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar was made Vice Chancellor in the Jawaharlal Nehru University. Today, politics of religion has entered JNU. Jagadesh Kumar is a puppet of the RSS," Lilothia said.

Raj claimed that from all government departments and educational institutions, "there are enough studies and findings" that in interviews the so-called "caste-biased evaluators practice discrimination".

A random sample survey of interview marks of candidates from different categories done by some OBC bureaucrats shows that general candidates perform better than reserved candidates in interviews, Raj claimed.

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