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IIT Bombay: RTI data shows no ST, OBC faculty hired in 2023; IIT refutes claim

Similarly, at IIT Madras as well, it was shown in the RTI response that only 2 per cent of the total PhD students admitted belonged to the ST category and 10 per cent were SC candidates

Premier technological institutes Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and IIT Madras have been pulled up for disregarding the reservation policy in faculty recruitment and PhD admissions last year.

This was revealed in a response given by the institutes to a query filed under the Right to Information (RTI).

The RTI response to a plea filed by Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) shows that the IIT Bombay failed to hire any Scheduled Tribe (ST) or Other Backward Class (OBC) faculty member last year, while only four faculty members from Scheduled Caste (SC) categories were hired in 2023. Meanwhile, 17 candidates from the General category were hired in the faculty recruitment drive the same year.

The same RTI data shows that the current faculty composition at IIT Bombay only includes six per cent of facilities from SC, ST and OBC categories.

Similarly, the data received from IIT Madras shows that only five faculty members from OBC category, three from SC and just one from ST were hired in 2023 as compared to 43 general category faculty members.

When it comes to PhD admissions at IIT Bombay, the data obtained through RTI filed by APPSC shows that as many as 16 departments did not admit any ST students, seven departments did not admit any SC students and two departments did not take any OBC category students in the academic year 2023-24.

Similarly, at IIT Madras as well, it was shown that only two per cent of the total PhD students admitted belonged to the ST category and 10 per cent were SC candidates.

The RTI data suggests flouting of reservation norms, according to which, 27 per cent of the PhD seats are reserved for OBC candidates, 15 per cent for SC and 7.5 per cent for ST candidates in these institutes.

It is important to note that IITs have already been receiving flak from academic circles amid rising concerns regarding abysmally low representation of marginalised groups in academic positions.

“Misleading”: IIT Bombay

On the other hand, IIT Bombay, today, Wednesday, April 10, dismissed these allegations regarding low faculty recruitment from reserved categories.

In a social media post uploaded on April 10, the institute wrote: “Misleading figures are circulating about no. of faculty from various reserved categories recruited at IITB. Correct figures: 27 SC, 6 ST, 29 OBC NC, 1 EWS have been offered since 2021. Many have joined. Some are yet to join. We are still interviewing candidates for certain depts.”

The institute also attached comprehensive data to support their argument, which shows that 27 individuals from the Scheduled Caste (SC) category, six from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, 29 from the Other Backward Classes Non-Creamy Layer (OBC NC), and one from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) have been hired since 2021.

Responding to this, a member from APPSC IIT Bombay told EdexLive, “The institute is trying to manipulate the narrative by providing three years of data when the RTI response shows faculty recruitment for last year only. The RTI response is from the institute itself, so if there are discrepancies, it is the institute that is showing false reports — either in the RTI response or in their own data.”

“There is no logic in their response. Even if the data that they provided is correct, it still shows only 62 faculty members recruited in the last three years from reserved categories out of over 670. Even in their narrative, less than 10 per cent of people from reserved categories have been hired in the last three years when the numbers should be 50 per cent,” the APPSC member added, on the condition of anonymity.

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