Student Organisations Protest Against UGC Draft Guidelines Proposing The De-Reservation Of Positions In Higher Education Institutions

Student Organisations Protest Against UGC Draft Guidelines Proposing The De-Reservation Of Positions In Higher Education Institutions

UGC's plan to "de-reserve" positions faces fierce opposition as student groups unite. Allegations of undermining inclusiveness and justice prompt nationwide demonstrations.

Siksha MUpdated: Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 02:57 PM IST
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University Grants Commission

The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently proposed draft guidelines suggesting the "de-reserving" of positions in higher education institutions designated for SC, ST, and OBC candidates in the absence of qualified candidates that triggered widespread backlash. The controversial proposal faced strong opposition on Monday as student organizations, including AISA, SFI, and the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU), staged a protest outside the UGC headquarters, demanding the withdrawal of the contentious suggestion.

Challenges to Inclusiveness and Justice

AISA, in a statement, expressed concerns that the proposed guidelines would "ruin all inclusiveness and justice from educational institutions" and were detrimental to the values of democratic India. The statement emphasized that students would not tolerate the notice, calling for its outright deletion from the guidelines.

One of the major grievances raised by the student body was the issuance of the draft guidelines exclusively in English, online, and without a press broadcast. In response, they submitted preliminary comments to the UGC in a letter on Sunday.

Student delegations

Representatives from various student outfits met with UGC officials to present their concerns regarding the potential consequences if the draft guidelines were implemented. According to the Students Federation of India (SFI), UGC officials assured students that the draft would be revised to remove the controversial clause on de-reservation for SC, ST, and OBC posts.

In a statement, SFI mentioned, "The officials accepted that it was a grave mistake that happened from their side, and the revised draft will not carry the clause on de-reservation."

Adding to the chorus of discontent, the Krantikari Yuva Sangatham (KYS) participated in the demonstration, demanding the dismissal of UGC Chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar. KYS alleged that the draft guidelines aimed to decrease the number of reserved seats in higher education institutes, potentially leading to eligible candidates being rejected under the 'not found suitable' (NFS) category.

The 'Guidelines for Implementation of the Reservation Policy of the Government of India in Higher Education Institutes' specify that a reserved vacancy for SC, ST, and OBC candidates may be declared "unreserved" if a sufficient number of candidates from these categories are not available.

(Inputs from PTI)

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