Published: 12th March 2020
PhD seats reserved for SC, ST, OBC candidates remain vacant in 14 out of 23 IITs. Here's why
The data that was released by the HRD Ministry in the Parliament talks about the PhD admissions in these institutes from the academic years 2015-16 to 2019-20
PhD seats reserved for SC, ST and OBC candidates remain vacant in 14 of the 23 IITs in India, reveals data by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The data talks about the PhD admissions in these institutes from the academic years 2015-16 to 2019-20. The remaining 9 IITs, on the other hand have partially met their quotas — mostly by filling the seats reserved for the OBC candidates.
Each IIT is mandated to reserve 15 per cent of their PhD seats for SC candidates, 7.5 per cent for ST candidates and 27 per cent for OBC candidates. However, many institutes have filled less than 1 per cent of its seats reserved for ST candidates.The data was released by the Ministry following a question raised by MPs K Somaprasad and Elamaram Kareem in the Parliament. "A total of 2268 SC, 526 ST and 5811 OBC students were admitted to PhD programmes in IITs during last 5 years," said HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' in his response.
Of all the IITs, IT Ropar has filled only 4 per cent of the seats reserved for SC, 0.8 for ST and 17 per cent for OBCs. In IIT Kharagpur, the numbers are 7 per cent, 1.2 per cent and 16 per cent respectively. No IIT in the country has filled all the reserved seats. IIT Delhi, IIT BHU, IIT Patna, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Tirupati, IIT Goa, IIT Bhilai, IIT Palakkad, IIT Jammu and IIT Dharwad have filled all the OBC seats. IIT ISM Dhanbad, the only exception has filled the seats reserved for SC and OBC candidates. However, it still has vacant seats reserved for ST candidates.
Read the entire list here:
Previously, the SFI had released data about the percentage of seats that the top five IITs had filled, which also told a similar story. At that time, the IIT Directors told us that not many students are opting for PhD programmes and that was why the seats remained vacant. "It may happen that some SC/ST/OBC candidates do not join after seats are allocated to them. We strictly follow all the guidelines of GOI in preparing the seat matrix," said R K Das, IIT ISM JEE Chairman. Dissuading any other theories that people may have, IIT Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao had also said to an earlier query, "Lack of applications is the only reason."
However, the MPs who raised the question rubbished the claim. "We find it difficult to believe what the IIT Directors have said. I personally know a lot of instances where students from religious and caste minorities are discriminated against. In many instances, faculty are not ready to guide them through their projects," says Somaprasad. "Case in point, the suicide of Fathima Latheef in IIT Madras. We are trying to get a better explanation from the ministry about this," he adds. A first-year master's student in IIT Madras, Fathima committed suicide on November 9. Her family had then alleged that Fathima was discriminated against, on the basis of her religion.