The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry ordered all Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) on Wednesday to reserve faculty positions for candidates from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections in the general category.
Reservation in IIM appointments has been a contentious issue for years. Currently, the 20 premier business schools do not reserve 15 per cent of the teaching posts for candidates from Scheduled Castes, 7.5 per cent for candidates from Scheduled Tribes, 27 per cent for candidates from Other Backward Classes and 10 per cent for candidates from Economically Weaker Sections in the general category.
The institutes have been citing a letter of the Department of Personnel and Training from the 1970s that states that scientific and technical posts are exempt from the reservation. IIMs claim their teaching posts are technical and hence exempt. However, the latest order issued on Wednesday clearly states that it “supersedes” all previous “orders/notifications/communication” sent by the HRD Ministry in case of faculty reservation.
The latest order also states that the IIMs now have to prepare reservation rosters and all future recruitment of teachers will have to be done as per the roster.
The government has, in the past, advised the IIMs to adopt reservation in faculty posts. But never before has it issued a directive in this regard.
While the IIMs, to date, were not providing reservation, they claimed to make positive discrimination for candidates from socially and backward sections. As per data maintained by the HRD Ministry, over 90 per cent of the current faculty members across 20 IIMs are from the general category.
The ministry’s directive comes in the wake of the parliamentary committee on the welfare of OBCs cornering the government over the continued evasion of OBC reservation in educational institutions, especially the Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and the IIMs.
On Tuesday, the parliamentary committee met officials from the ministry and questioned them on the government’s commitment to ensure reservation for OBC students in Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.