Mumbai News: 'No ST, OBC Faculty Hired By IITB In 2023', Reveals RTI

Mumbai News: 'No ST, OBC Faculty Hired By IITB In 2023', Reveals RTI

IITB, along with other IITs, has been facing flak for the lack of diversity among its teachers and student community for the past several years.

Musab QaziUpdated: Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 02:03 AM IST
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IIT Bombay | Facebook (Representational Pic)

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) failed to hire any Scheduled Tribe (ST) or Other Backward Class (OBC) faculty member last year. This comes despite the low representation of marginalised groups in the academic positions at the premier institute, revealing the response to a query filed under the Right to Information (RTI).

Of the 21 teachers hired by IITB in 2023, only four belong to reserved categories - all of them Scheduled Castes (SC), the institute informed in an RTI request filed by the student group Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC). The lopsided recruitment is keeping up with the existing caste composition of the institute faculty, with only 44 out of 718, barely 6%, of the teachers hailing from backward communities. This, according to the students, is a violation of the reservation policy for central universities, where SCs, STs and OBCs have a 15%, 7.5% and 27% quota, respectively.

Challenges In Faculty Recruitment And PhD Admissions At IIT Bombay

IITs issue rolling advertisements for faculty recruitment, which are open throughout the year for all candidates, who fulfil the required qualifications and experience for faculty positions in IITs.

The RTI query also brought to the fore the relatively poor enrolment of marginalised students in PhD programmes at IITB. Almost half, 16 out of 29 departments of the institute didn't admit a single ST scholar for their doctorate programmes in 2023, while no SC and OBC scholars found an entry at seven and two departments, respectively. The overwhelming majority of PhD entrants - 369 out of 603 - belong to the general category.

Challenges In Achieving Diversity Goals At IITB

IITB, along with other IITs, has been facing flak for the lack of diversity among its teachers and student community for the past several years. Despite directions from the Supreme Court (SC) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) to fill vacant faculty posts through Mission Mode Recruitment (MMR) in accordance with the reservation policies, the institute has yet to lessen the disparity.

Supreme Court's Directive On Reservation Policy At IITs

The Supreme Court, in December 2022, directed the Centre to follow the reservation policy for admission in research degree programmes and recruitment of faculty members at IITs as provided under the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019. The verdict was in response to a plea seeking direction to the Centre and the IITs to follow the reservation policy, with regard to admissions in research programmes and recruitment of faculty members, claiming the guidelines have been violated.

Government's Efforts To Fill Faculty Vacancies In Reserved Categories

Earlier this year, UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar had also reiterated, “It is important for all HEIs [higher education institutes] to ensure that all backlog positions in the reserved category are filled up through concerted efforts.”

In February, the Minister of State for Education Subhas Sarkar, in a written reply to an unstarred question of the Lok Sabha said that as many as 4,440 faculty vacancies of SC, ST and OBCs have been filled under MMR drive at central varsities, including IITs.

IITB didn't respond to FPJ's request for a comment.

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