SC notifies Centre and IITs to follow reservation policy for admission into research programmes and recruitment of faculty

The matter was listed before a Bench of Justices LN Rao, BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna
Supreme Court of India | Pic: Wikimedia Commons
Supreme Court of India | Pic: Wikimedia Commons

On November 24, the Supreme Court submitted a notice to the Centre and the IITs in a writ petition, seeking direction to all the 23 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to follow the reservation policy in the admission process into the research degree programmes and recruitment of faculty in the IITs.

The matter was listed before a Bench of Justices LN Rao, BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna. The petition was filed by Dr Sachchida Nand Pandey, a geothermal energy researcher, through Advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey, who had alleged that the reservation policy that provides reservation to socially marginalised communities belonging to the SC (15%), ST (7.5%) and OBC (27%) categories is not being followed by the IITs.

An argument was provided that the process of taking admissions into the research programmes and appointment of faculty members by the IITs was "completely unconstitutional, illegal and arbitrary".

"IITs are not following the transparent processes for recruiting faculty members, which open the window for undeserving and useless candidates to enter into the IITs through their connections that increased the chances of corruption, favouritism and discrimination," the petition mentioned.

It was mentioned in the petition that the Central Government, back in June 2008, had written to IIT Directors (Kharagpur, Madras, Bombay, Kanpur, Roorkee, and Guwahati) to implement reservation for SC, ST, and OBC categories while considering teaching posts at  Assistant Professor level in Science and Technology, and at all levels (Assistant, Associate and Professor) in the Humanities and Management Department. Moreover, in November 2019, the Government of India had extended reservation to all posts (Associate Professors and Professors) in all streams. 

Dr Pandey, in the petition, had also requested the Government of India to make a provision for resolving the problems faced by students/scholars and to decide the research harassment complaints with transparency and in a time-bound manner. He also sought for a committee of technical experts to be constituted to review the performance of existing faculty, cancel the appointment of non-performing faculty and for not following the reservation policy, and also for the formation of a transparent recruitment policy.

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