Saturday, 25 September 2021

This is to bring an alarming situation of the day light murder of social justice and sabotage of reservation in the Centrally Funded Technical Institutions to the notice of the larger public, democratic minded sections and the constitutional lovers. The Central Executive Committee of Students’ Federation of India (SFI) appeals to every single media house in the country to join with us in the campaign to protect constitutionally guaranteed measures for protecting the rights of historically oppressed communities in our society.

The admission figures provided by the Minister of Education in response to the questions raised by two members from the Left, Elamaram Kareem and Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya last day in the  Rajya Sabha, has once again proven the blatant disregard for Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admissions) Act, 2006 in the Centrally Funded Technical Institutions. The Central Executive Committee of Students’ Federation of India condemns the seemingly deliberate attempt by these institutes to bypass the reservation norms. The SFI also strongly condemns the lack of initiative from the part of the Ministry to address the issue of severe underrepresentation in technical education and research even after decades of the reservations being in existence. The situation is grave and deplorable, hence we demand an immediate redressal of the same.

 

Distribution of Ph.D. admissions during the last five years 2016-2020

Institution

Program

Total

SC%

ST%

OBC%

IISc

Ph.D

1839

9%

2.1%

8%

17 IIITs

Ph.D

978

9%

1.7%

27.4%

IISc

Integrated Ph.D.

259

9%

1.2%

5%

Distribution of admissions during the last three years 2017-2020

Institution

Program

Total

SC%

ST%

OBC%

31 NITs

Ph.D

8068

10.5%

3.6%

24%

7 IISERs

BS-MS

4069

16%

7%

28%

IISER Kolkata

MS (Space Physics)

6

0%

0%

0%

 

Drop-out trends in Ph.D. during the last five years 2016-2020

Institution

Program

Total

SC%

ST%

OBC%

IISc

Ph.D

111

16%

3.6%

4%

17 IIITs

Ph.D

69

6%

0%

23%

IISc

Integrated Ph.D.

4

25%

0%

0%

Drop-out trends during the last three years 2017-2020

Institution

Program

Total

SC%

ST%

OBC%

31 NITs

Ph.D

483

8%

3.9%

21%

7 IISERs

BS-MS

345

19%

13.3%

26%

IISER Kolkata

MS (Space Physics)

0

0%

0%

0%

SOME KEY OBSERVATIONS:

Indian Institute of Science

  • OBC category had almost negligible presence at 1% of the total admissions during 2016-2018.
  • Zero admissions from SC and OBC in the integrated PhD program during two consecutive years.

31 National Institutes of Technology

  • Particularly alarming has been the lack of admissions of ST category in some NITs. NIT Calicut, Patna, Nagpur and Kurukshetra for instance, have not admitted a single ST category student in the past three years. In some other NITs, there have been zero admission from the ST category across different years in this period. Similar has been observed for SC category also at certain NITs.
  • Of the total students admitted at NIT Calicut over the three years, only 5.1% belonged to SC category. And at Jaipur, only 5.2% came from the SC category. The bigger NITs have admitted comparatively fewer students from SC category.
  • NIT Nagpur on the other hand, seems to not have admitted any student from the SC, ST and OBC category during these three years
  • More than 70% of the admissions in NIT Surathkal, Srinagar, Kurukshektra and Uttarakhand belonged to the General category

17 Indian Institutes of Information Technology

  • The five centrally funded IIITs have admission levels of SCs and STs at 11% and 1.9% of the total 638 admissions.
  • The rest 12 run in a PPP model admitted very poor number of students from SC, ST and OBC categories- respectively 6.5%, 1.5% and 15.6% of the total 340 admissions. Many of them have not recruited any students from these categories.
  • IIIT Gwalior, Kancheepuram and Kurnool did not admit any ST students during these years.

7 Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research

  • Although IISERs have a better reservation compliance in their BS-MS program, certain violations were found. IISER Thiruvananthapuram fell behind in ST reservation compliance.
  • IISER Pune and Tirupati had dropouts of more than 65% from the reserved categories.

As opposed to the recommendation given by the Oversight Committee for the Implementation of 2006 Reservation Policy, the Ministry’s response proves that there is no special programme under the Government to train research aspirants for selection to PhD programmes at these elite institutions. Instead IISc offers a familiarisation programme for applicants selected for PhD interviews belonging to SC and ST categories. Further the response received is ambiguous with respect to the training offered for GATE examination by the government for the students belonging to SC/ST/OBC. The response claims that MTech students belonging to these categories are given GATE training in the relevant disciplines, but MTech students would have already written and cleared GATE Examination.

Following the efforts of SFI, the poor implementation  of CEI Act, 2006 in PhD at IITs was confirmed by the Ministry of Education last year with admissions of SC, ST & OBC at 9%, 2.1% and 23% of the total. Although an expert panel was set up to improve the implementation of reservation in IITs, the committee did a shoddy work in addressing the issues at PG/PhD level. Moreover, it went on to recommend for exempting IITs from adhering to the faculty reservation norms.

 The persistent violation of reservation norms in the nation’s premier technical institutions has contributed to the underrepresentation of teaching faculty from the marginalised and backward groups at the same institutions. This has proven to be a major hindrance in achieving an inclusive learning atmosphere. Babasaheb Ambedkar had frequently stressed on the importance of advanced education in Science and Technology for the upliftment of Dalits and other oppressed groups over other disciplines. The data released by the ministry shows that there is a clear lack of compliance in achieving the same.

 SFI is committed to carry the struggles for safeguarding the rights of the oppressed sections in the country. SFI calls upon all its units across the country to organise protests and campaigns highlighting the crude manner in which social justice is murdered in educational institutions. We reiterate our demand for a legislation to check proper implementation of reservation and also against caste based discrimination which results in alarming number of drop-outs in the education institutions. There was a complete scrapping of reservation system in IIM Ahmedabad. The Ministry of Education must immediately release a white paper on the social category-wise distribution of admissions at all programs offered at the UG, PG and PhD levels of every Central Educational Institutions, for the last five years, along with their gender-wise data. This would help the society verify  the compliance of CEI Act, 2006 across all the institutions. SFI demands an immediate intervention from the President  of India on the issue. SFI also appeals to all other members in the parliament to take up this alarming issue in the ongoing parliament session and also join with the democratic sections in the fight for social justice.