After the Union Cabinet Thursday cleared a proposal for promulgation of an ordinance on reservation mechanism for appointment of faculties in varsities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) wrote to universities to immediately start the teachers' recruitment process, which was put on hold in July last year. Earlier Thursday, Union minister Arun Jaitley said the Cabinet has cleared an ordinance on the matter. According to an official statement from the Union government, this decision is expected to improve the teaching standards in the higher educational institutions to attract all eligible talented candidates.
The government also said the decision will allow filling up of more than 5000 vacancies by direct recruitment in Teachers' Cadre duly ensuring that the Constitutional Provisions of Articles 14, 16 and 21 shall be complied with and stipulated reservation criteria for the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes are met with.
Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar earlier this week said the Centre was committed to restoring the reservation roster in educational institutions following a series of protests on the issue by various students' and teachers' organisations.
The communication by UGC came following the Cabinet's approval for promulgation of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Ordinance, 2019, to restore the earlier 200-point roster based reservation system in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs).
The new system will consider the university or college as one unit, instead of treating department or subject as one unit.
"Following the promulgation of the ordinance, the universities are directed to start recruitment process immediately," the UGC said in a letter to university vice-chancellors.
According to the government, the ordinance will ensure that constitutional provisions of reservation for SC, ST and SEBL in the faculty recruitment will be protected and the current impasse in recruitment would be resolved.
Meanwhile, teachers' associations like Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) and Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA), which were on the forefront of protests against the UGC circular which stopped the 200-point roster for faculty reservation, on Thursday welcomed the government decision to bring an ordinance.
DUTA said the "overdue cabinet decision" to bring in a law through an ordinance to restore the college/department -wise 200-point roster is a victory. "It is a victory for the principled struggle of the DUTA, the principled struggles carried on by various groups for social justice and inclusive education and the coming together of all of us notwithstanding differences of opinion in joint actions," it said.
JNUTA president Atul Sood said the ordinance was a "timely measure". "It is a correction to a historical and social justice blunder. It has come in time otherwise the loss of jobs would have been high. The government has to ensure that such a thing does not happen again. It took more than a year to correct the blunder that was caused," he said.
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