Published: 07th March 2019
Teachers on either side of roster debate slam Cabinet decision as 'political gimmick'
While the advocates of the 200-point roster said that the ordinance is only temporary and just a show, the ones opposing the move feel there was no need to reverse a Supreme Court verdict
The Union Cabinet on March 7 approved an ordinance on the reservation mechanism for university teachers. The Cabinet accepted the MHRD's proposal to pass an ordinance to restore the 200-point system and do away with the 13-point roster system which meant that the reservation would be applied taking each department as a unit. The 200-point system, that has been in play all these years applies reservation based on the entire campus as a unit. Under the 200-point system, there were more opportunities for people from the SC, ST and OBC communities.
But not everyone is happy with the government's decision to bring back the system. While Jawaharlal Nehru University Teacher's Association's General Secretary, Avinash Kumar said that it's just one small step forward, Anuj Dwivedi, a postdoctoral fellow at National Institute of Plant Genome Research said that this is just a political gimmick before the elections and this will only create a divide between general category and SC/ST candidates.
Avinash said that they have been protesting for a long time now and the decision is already late. "An ordinance is only a temporary thing. It needs to be converted into a bill as soon as possible. The next government has to take it up at the earliest. By the time this comes into force a lot of appointments would be done. This is only a gimmick till the bill is passed," he said.
Anuj, even though against the restoration of the previous roster system, slammed the government as well, "It's just before the elections and this is nothing but a show they have put on. I have nothing against reservation. But this was a decision taken by the Supreme Court. Why try to reverse it just before the elections? There are far more important issues that need to be addressed," he said, adding that this will only create a divide amongst the educated society.
The Supreme Court had last month dismissed a review petition filed by the HRD Ministry after its special leave petition against the court order was rejected by the apex court. Various students' and teachers' organisations had been urging the government to bring an ordinance to restore the 200-point roster system. The Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar had assured them that the Centre was working on restoring the previous roster and there was no need for any agitation.