AFTER STUDENTS of Panjab University wrote to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) for implementation of a reservation policy for SC/ST candidates in the university’s executive bodies, PU Chancellor and Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari has sought a report on the implementation of the university’s reservation policy. As per the letter, the university is required to submit a detailed report on the percentage of reservation currently being given to SC/ST candidates during employment, admission and in the university’s governing bodies.
In the next meeting of the PU Syndicate on May 1, the issue will now be addressed, before a reply is sent to the Chancellor’s office.
A special committee has now been constituted by the varsity to look into the implementation of the 2006 UGC Guidelines for provision of reservation to SC/ST students and teachers in the Panjab University Senate and Syndicate. The UGC policy mandates reservation for SC/ST candidates during admission and recruitment for the university teaching staff. Additionally, reservation must also be provided in all governing and executive bodies of universities. For admission and employment, 15 per cent reservation is applicable for Scheduled Castes and 7.5 per cent reservation for Scheduled Tribes.
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As per a legal notice sent to PU by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2009, the university was directed to create 25 per cent reservation for SC/ST candidates in all its governing bodies. After the varsity received the complaint then, a committee was formed under the then university Vice-Chancellor R C Sobti, but no action was initiated.
“We do have a reservation policy in place during admission and employment. However, SC/ST candidates do not have reservation in the Senate or Syndicate as of now. Currently, we have a system where nominations are made in the governing bodies for candidates coming from these backgrounds, i.e. there is a representation from SC/ST candidates in the Senate and Syndicate. Now that the issue has been highlighted, the university needs some clarity on the terms ‘representation’ and ‘reservation’, which is why the issue is being tabled in front of the university Syndicate in its next meeting,” a member of the special committee told Chandigarh Newsline.
The issue regarding reservation in the university’s governing bodies came to light in March again, when a few students of PU wrote to the MHRD and Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, seeking implementation of a reservation policy, ahead of the Senate polls which are scheduled to be held in August this year. The students had highlighted that the PU authorities had released the official schedule of the Senate Polls 2016 without adopting the UGC guidelines for reservation of SC/ST candidates in the university’s governing bodies.