WITH ONLY a couple of months left for admissions to begin for the 2019-2020 academic year, the Mumbai University (MU) is yet to chalk out a plan to implement the newly-introduced 10 per cent quota for students belonging to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
The state government had, on February 11, issued a notification regarding the implementation of the quota for EWS students in the state.
However, an official from MU told The Indian Express, “We have not received any information on how the EWS quota will be implemented in the university and its affiliated colleges. For implementation of the quota, modalities such as financial outlay, requirement of additional staff and infrastructure like hostel facilities, have to be figured out.”
“As far as recruitments in MU and its affiliated colleges are concerned, the procedure involves publishing an advertisement around 30 days before the admission process is set to begin. This is followed by an interview with subject experts and further scrutiny,” the official added.
When contacted, Saurabh Vijay, Secretary (Higher and Technical Education), said: “We are implementing the EWS quota.” With regard to implementation of EWS quota in recruitments in MU, the state general administration department had released a government resolution (GR) on February 18, making changes in the 100-seat roster followed by the university for hiring purposes. If 100 seats are vacant, every 8th, 16th, 26th, 38th, 46th, 56th, 68th, 76th, 86th and 98th seat would be reserved for applicants in the EWS quota.
Despite the quota, however, it is unlikely that any candidate will be hired, given the freeze on recruitments in MU since the past couple of years, officials said.
“The state finance department had issued a GR in 2016 asking all 13 state universities to reduce its teaching and non-teaching staff by 30 per cent, citing several procedures being made online. MU had 1,319 approved posts in 2010, of which 30 per cent had to be reduced,” said an official. “However, our students and affiliated colleges have increased since then. We cannot reduce the number of teaching staff. Day after day, we are moving towards interactive teaching. The dependence on the chalk-and-talk method is decreasing and the focus on skills has increased,” the official added.
Vijay said that MU has been asked to submit a proposal on its staffing pattern, following which a committee would take further decisions. According to data received from MU, in February, 365 sanctioned posts for teaching staff were vacant — 86 for professors, 121 for associate professors and 158 for assistant professors. The same month, 373 seats for non-teaching staff were vacant. MU, with over 8 lakh students, has 68 departments and 791 affiliated colleges. It provides 338 UG, PG, MPhil, diploma and certificate programmes.
The Bill introducing the EWS quota was passed by the Parliament on January 9. On January 15, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced that the quota will be implemented across 40,000 colleges and 900 universities in the country from the academic year 2019-20.