The constitution of India provisions reservation to historically disadvantaged people in our country. Although some perceive the provision as an anti-poverty measure, other people consider it as a means for providing a just right of access to unprivileged people. Articles 15, 16, 17, and 46 of the Indian Constitution lay the foundation for setting up a society of equal status and equal opportunities without social injustice and exploitation.
Before the bill was introduced in the Parliament, an ordinance was in effect from March 7, 2019. The Bill was introduced for ensuring teaching positions in central institutions for individuals belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, socially and educationally disadvantaged classes, as well as people facing economic hardships and lacking financial security necessary for their fundamental sustenance.
This Bill supported the 200-roster form of the reservation system, which considered college/university as a unit for calculating the seat reserved for the backward classes. This Bill provides opportunities to every section of society and complies with the Indian Constitution.
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Reason for the Promulgation of an Ordinance
- In April 2017, the Allahabad High Court passed a verdict regarding the 200-point roster system for reservations in universities and colleges. This case was known as “Vivekananda Tiwari & Anr. Vs. Union of India & Ors.”
- The case was regarding the recruitment of teachers at Banaras Hindu University, a Central education institution. The petitioners wanted to cancel the old system of recruitment. They wanted to start a fresh department and subject-based recruitment drive in BHU, calculating the number of faculty posts reserved for the Scheduled castes, Scheduled Tribe, and other Backward Classes.
- The High Court ruled in favour of the petitioners and criticised the University Grants Commission (UGC) for using the reservation system in a blanket manner; the judgement directed them to issue a new circular regarding the changes and scrap off the old system of reservations.
The High Court called the 200-point roster system faulty. It stated that if a University is taken as a unit for reservation, then some departments or subjects would have all the reserved candidates, and the others would have unreserved candidates.
Second, the types of posts holding the same value (assistant or associate professors, etc.) across all the departments having the same pay scale are not related to each other in any other terms; neither their services are the same, nor can they be transferred from one department to the another. Therefore, according to the High Court, clubbing the posts for the same level and treating the university as a unit would be completely unworkable and impractical and violate the right to equality (Article 14) and equal opportunity (Article 16) of the Indian Constitution.
- The Ministry of Human Resource Development filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against this verdict of Allahabad High Court stating that the number of reserved seats decreased in Banaras Hindu University (BHU) when departments were individually considered. The SLP noted that the reserved posts decreased by 170 for SC, 114 for ST, and 90 for OBC when the department was considered a unit for reservation.
- However, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Allahabad High Court and favoured adopting a 13-point roster system in recruitment to the teacher cadre, and the Government passed the ordinance. The former Minister of Human Resource Development had earlier mentioned in the Parliament that if the Supreme Court does not accept their review petition on the directive of the 200-point roster, then an ordinance is to be circulated, and the order was complied to.
Past Guidelines of UGC
In 2006, the UGC issued guidelines for teacher reservations in central educational institutions considering a university as one unit for reservation. This type of reservation was known to be calculated using a roster system specified by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pension.
However, after the judgement passed by the Allahabad High Court, the UGC issued a notice that instructed all central universities to consider the department as a unit for reservation.
In March 2019, a Bill of the same name ‘the Central Institutions’ (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Ordinance, 2019, became effective in July 2019.
The guidelines of 2006 did not specify 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections among higher castes.
Objectives of the Bill
- The Ministry of Human Resource and Development mentioned 7000 vacancies in central educational institutions. Restoring the 200-point roster would enable it to fill up 3,00,000 vacancies in central and state government-owned institutions through direct recruitment in the teacher’s cadre.
- Reservations are based on the fundamental rights ensured to people through the Constitution. The Bill stands in compliance with Article 14 (Right to equality), Article 16 (Right to equal opportunities for all), and Article 21 (Right to life and personal liberty).
- To ensure fair and complete representation of the backward classes in the educational institutions around the country.
- Reservations would raise the country’s higher education standards by recruiting talented and knowledgeable teachers from the backward class of society.
The Bill incorporated a new provision compared to the 2006 guidelines of the UGC. After the introduction of this Bill, in addition to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, the socially and educationally backward classes are to be recruited. For the first time, a 10% reservation was allotted for the economically weaker sections (EWS) from the general category. A fund of Rs. 770 crore was allocated for the reservation of EWS.
Central Educational Institution’ governed by the Bill
All institutions funded or receiving grants or aid from the Central Government fall under this ambit as follows:
- A University established under a Central Act.
- An institution that receives funds and grants from the Central Government, directly or indirectly.
- An educational institution established by the Central Government under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.
- An institution declared as an institution deemed to be University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
- An institution of national importance established by an Act of Parliament.
Exceptions of the Bill
- Unlike other universities and institutions, some educational institutions are of great national and strategic importance, including institutions of excellence and research. Implementing the provisions of the Bill in such institutes will only devalue its meaning and distinction. Therefore, the reservation system is not applicable here.
- Second, an educational institution of a minority also does not fall under its ambit.
- The name of such institutions is mentioned in the Schedule to this Act, like, Homi Bhabha National Institute, and its constituent units, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, and Physical Research Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced and Scientific Research, North-Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Science.
Fundamental Difference Between the 13-point System and the 200-point System
The roster system works on cadre strength. A cadre encompasses all the posts required to be filled in a unit. This unit can either be a university or a department. For example, all the posts of associate professors that may be present in a university or within a department (subject-wise) would be considered a cadre.
In the initial stages of recruitment, all the posts in a cadre are numbered and allocated, which denotes if a cadre has 20 posts to be filled, it is assigned a number from 1 to 20. After that it will be allocated to a particular category that might be a Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Class, Economically Weaker Section or unreserved. The procedure of hiring is performed on the basis of this list.
|13-point roster||200-point roster|
|Cadre strength: This system is applied to cadres with 2 to 13 posts||This system is applied to cadres with 14 or more posts.|
|Filling pattern of vacancies: The vacancies are filled in a rotational manner.||In the 200-point system, when a seat is allocated for a specific category, like SC, then all the future vacancies of that post will be filled by a candidate of that category.|
|Availability of Seats: Proper calculations reveal a decrease of seats for the reserved category when the department is considered as a unit for the recruitment.||It creates more seats for the reserved category candidates.|
The Bill reversed the Allahabad High Court order of 2017, which directed the Banaras Hindu University to consider individual departments as a unit for calculating the number of teaching posts to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Socially and Educationally Backward classes. For the first time, it paved the way for the economically weaker sections of the higher caste society by providing them with a 10% reservation of seats. This was a balancing act by the Government.
When a department is taken as a unit, the total number of reserved posts within the university decreases. Therefore, the 200-point roster system outweighed the 13-point roster (department/subject) system and was restored.
This Bill describes the beginning of a new era in the Indian education system in which welfare is taken into cognisance even for the last man in the row.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the 13-point and 200-point rosters in the reservation system?
The 13-point roster considers the department as the unit for recruiting teachers to the reserved seats. By contrast, in a 200-point roster, the university is considered a unit to implement reservations.
When was this Bill introduced and passed by the Lok Sabha?
The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on 27 June, 2019, and passed on 1 July, 2019.
Name the ordinance that is repealed by this Bill.
The Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Teacher’s Cadre) Ordinance, 2019 was replaced by the Bill.
What was the provision introduced for the very first time in this Bill?
The Bill was the first to provide 10% reservations for the EWS of the general category.