Recently, the eight-member panel committee report was made available through an RTI application
An eight-member committee was appointed by the government for suggesting measures for effective implementation of reservation in students admissions and faculty recruitment in IITs
Composition of the committee
The committee was chaired by IIT Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao and had IIT Kanpur director Abhay Karandikar, representatives of secretaries of the departments of Social Justice and Empowerment, Tribal Affairs, Department of Personnel and Training, Persons with Disabilities and registrars of IIT Bombay and IIT Madras as its other members.
What are the recommendations of the committee?
- The committee has recommended that the 23 engineering schools should be exempted from reservations under CEI Act, 2019 and rather than specific quotas, diversity issues should be addressed through outreach campaigns and targeted recruitment of faculty.
- Among two sets of recommendations made by the committee, one stated that IITs should be added to the list of “Institutions of Excellence” mentioned in the Schedule to the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act 2019
- Section 4 of the Act exempts “institutions of excellence, research institutions, institutions of national and strategic importance” mentioned in the Schedule and minority institutions from providing reservation.
- The report states that being established and recognised as institutions of national importance under an Act of Parliament, IITs have ought to be listed under the Schedule to CEI Act, 2019 for exemption from reservations.
- This must be immediately reconsidered for inclusion of IITs in the Schedule taking into account the nature of these institutions, duties and their activities.
- The matter of reservations in these institutions may be vested with their respective Board of Governors to deal with as per the Board resolutions, statues, and bylaws.
- The committee also wrote in its report that the enrollment of reserved category students in the PhD programme is low and needs to be addressed. This is severely limiting the number of reserved category candidates available to be hired as faculty in the IIT system
What are Institutions of Excellence?
The institutions of excellence in India are specifically defined under the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 as those involved in niche research and study areas such as nuclear physics and other cutting edge science.
What is Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act 2019 ?
- CEI act ensures reservations in teaching positions in central institutions for persons from Scheduled Castes/Tribes, socially and educationally backward classes, and those from economically weaker sections.
- But those institutes deemed as institutions of excellence, Minority institutions, and of national and strategic importance will not come under this law.
Which are the current 10 constituent units that are covered under Section 4 of the CEI act 2019?
Currently, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, National Brain Research Centre, North-Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Physical Research Laboratory, Space Physics Laboratory, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing and Homi Bhabha National Institute and all its 10 constituent units are covered under the Section 4 of the law.