New Delhi, 7 December 2021 – Professors from several Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) claim that imposing reservation on faculty recruitment may lead to more positions being left vacant. In August 2021, all IIT colleges in India were instructed by the Ministry of Education (MoE) to adhere to the reserved category quota in all cases.
Earlier, if reserved category seats were vacant for a long time, these were opened for other categories through a special recruitment drive. This helped IITs fill vacancies in case a teaching position for reserved category candidates was left empty.
Due to the August 2021 mandate, this cannot be done anymore and IITs must wait for reserved category candidates to fill up the position. For example, if a teaching position is vacant for an OBC candidate, IITs have to wait for as long as needed for an OBC candidate to fill it up. If they are unable to find a candidate, the position will be left vacant until a suitable OBC candidate applies for it.
This has led to IIT professors claiming that if reservation will be imposed for job vacancies, more teaching positions will be left vacant across several IIT colleges in India.
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How will IIT Reservation Criteria Lead to More Vacant Teaching Positions?
The reservation criteria is causing more vacancies as IITs need to recruit qualified candidates for teaching positions. If reserved candidates are unable to fulfil the recruitment criteria then seats need to be opened for other category candidates too. Otherwise these will be left vacant for a long time.
Pradeep Mathur, founding director of IIT Indore and retired IIT Bombay professor, notes in this regard, “The reason why reserved category positions remain vacant at IITs is that there is no compromise on merit. In college admissions, there are separate eligibility criteria for general and ST/SC/OBC categories. The same relaxation does not exist in faculty recruitment processes at IITs; hence there are no eligible applications. De-reserving provision helped the institutes to fill up the positions with meritorious candidates, but doing away with that is only going to add up to the pile of vacancies.”
What is the Reservation Criteria for IITs?
As per the Ministry of Education, all government institutes (including IITs) are required to keep teaching positions reserved for special category candidates.
This includes a 27% reservation in teaching staff for Other Backward Class (OBC) candidates, 15% for Scheduled Castes (SC), and 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes (ST).