Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and, especially, Other Backward Classes (OBCs) are under-represented in the higher echelons of the government — Group A and Group B — and most of its institutions, including central universities.
This is the key finding from a set of most recent data obtained by The Indian Express under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), UGC and the HRD Ministry.
This assumes significance at a time when the government has just enacted a Constitutional amendment earmarking 10 per cent quota for the poor among those who are not beneficiaries of reservation: 15 per cent for SCs, 7.5 per cent for STs and 27 per cent for OBCs.
The figures are stark when it comes to the 40 central universities, where OBC reservation is applicable only up to the level of Assistant Professor — but here, too, their share is almost half (14.38 per cent) of their legal entitlement.
Significantly, the number of Professors and Associate Professors in central universities appointed under OBC reservation: zero. They show that 95.2 per cent of Professors, 92.9 per cent of Associate Professors and 66.27 per cent of Assistant Professors are from the general category, which may also include SCs, STs and OBCs who have not availed the benefits of reservation.
In SC/ST, too, the numbers are telling:
* Of the 1,125 Professors, there are only 39 (3.47 percent) from SC and just 8 (0.7 percent) from ST.
* Among 2,620 Associate Professors, only 130 (4.96 per cent) are from SC and just 34 (1.3 per cent) from ST.
* Of the 7,741 Assistant Professors, 931 (12.02 per cent) are from SC, 423 (5.46 per cent) from ST and 1,113 (14.38 per cent) from OBC.
Even among non-teaching staff, only 8.96 per cent are SC, 4.25 per cent ST and 10.17 per cent OBCs. Data show that 76.14 per cent in this segment belong to the general category.
Responding to queries from The Indian Express under the RTI Act, the UGC provided data for central universities up to April 1, 2018; the HRD Ministry for its own staff up to January 1, 2018; Railways up to January 1, 2017; and, the DoPT for government departments for the year 2015.
The data show that of the 665 officers of Group A and Group B in the HRD Ministry, and its attached and subordinate offices, 440 (66.17 per cent) are from the general category, 126 (18.94 per cent) from SC, 43 (6.47 per cent) from ST and only 56 (8.42 per cent) from OBCs.
DoPT’s data also show that representation from reserved categories in Group A and Group B is very low in comparison to their entitlement.
Among the other central government departments, the representation of OBCs in Group A and Group B is among the worst in the Railways, which is India’s largest employer. The data show that among the 16,381 officers of Group A and Group B, only 1,319 (8.05 per cent) are from OBCs.
Under the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965, all central government posts are classified under four categories, with Group A at the top and Group D at the lowest rung.
Group A includes all the three all-India services and covers senior management positions in ministries/departments and field organisations. The middle and junior levels of Group A, alongwith gazetted Group B officers constitute the middle management, followed by Group B non-gazetted officers.
According to the 7th Pay Commission report, of the 33.02 lakh civilian workforce in the central government, 8 per cent falls in Group B and 3 per cent in Group A. Primarily, selection for Group A services is carried out by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and for Group B by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC).
(Tomorrow: The glimmer, in banks)