Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said the Modi government was committed to reservation in the faculty positions of universities and that it does not agree with a court order quashing the 50 per cent reservation.
“The University Grants Commission (UGC) was forced to issue a 13-point roster after an Allahabad High Court ruling last year. But we do not agree with the court order,” Javadekar said.
“We have filed two SLPs (special leave petitions). The hearing is scheduled on August 13,” Javadekar told the Rajya Sabha after some members raised the issue during Zero Hour.
He said that the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry had already put on hold all interviews for recruitment for teaching positions in universities and colleges which were to be held under the roster pending a decision on the SLPs.
“We are hopeful we will be able to save reservation for Scheduled Castes, Sscheduled Tribes and OBCs. We will neither let it go, nor let others abolish it,” he said.
The issue was raised by Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav. He termed the March 5 UGC roster that kept nine out of every 13 teaching positions as unreserved, giving three to OBCs and one to Scheduled Castes, as a “conspiracy” to deprive the SC, ST and the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) of their due as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Yadav was seconded by senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and P.L Punia besides a number of other members siding with the cause.
The Allahabad high Court had in April last year struck down a UGC circular prescribing institution-wise reservation to fill vacant faculty positions. The Supreme Court too upheld the High Court’s order, prompting the UGC to issue a circular for reserving seats for SC, ST and OBCs department-wise.