Published: 22nd June 2021
After Calicut University slashes ST quota in PhD admissions to increase EWS numbers, students go to Kerala HC
The petition has been moved by three students from ST communities who had applied for PhD seats in the university, along with a welfare organisation
The Kerala High Court has asked the University of Calicut to explain the reasons behind their reducing the number of PhD seats reserved for students from ST communities. While the university had reserved the government-mandated 7.5 per cent seats for ST researchers until the academic year 2020-21, it had only reserved 5 per cent seats in the current academic year.
The petition was moved by three students from ST communities who had applied for PhD seats in the university, along with a welfare organisation called Dhisha. "In 2020, the university had reserved 7.5 per cent of the PhD seats for the EWS candidates. However, this year, this has increased to 10 per cent (as mandated by the UGC), while the percentage of seats reserved for ST students has come down to five," says Ajith Shekharan, a petitioner.
READ ALSO: Calicut university issues memo to teacher who slammed EWS, reservation, much to academics' ire
This is, however, against a notification by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (now Ministry of Education), which says that the EWS reservation should not affect any of the existing reservation norms. "The extend of reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections shall be limited for that academic session in such manner that the number of seats made available for the Economically Weaker Sections for each academic sessions shall not reduce the number and percentage of reservations provided for SC/ST/OBC categories," reads the MHRD's Official Memorandum.
A few months ago, the same university had issued a memo to its faculty Dr K S Madhavan, a Dalit thinker and an academician. Madhavan had co-authored an opinion piece in a Malayalam newspaper, where he had criticised the improper implementation of reservations in the universities in Kerala.