In a huge step for social equality and inclusiveness, the Ministry of Education has set a deadline of Sept 4, 2022, for quota-based hiring of faculty members at IITs. It is important to note that the autonomy for the recruitment process has been changed at the behest of the Centre. Earlier, there was no reservation quota for recruitment of senior positions at the IITs for courses other than humanities and management
The IITs, therefore have placed advertisements for filling vacancies in the SC, ST, OBC and EWS categories by adhering to the reservation rules for the first time since they were set up. The recruitment process at IITs takes around a year.
The education ministry had been pushing higher education institutions which are funded by the centre to apply the reservation policy in hiring since 2019. Following the procedure of their own, IIT Bombay has advertised for 50 positions, IIT Madras for 49 and others like IIT Delhi, Roorkee, Hyderabad, Kharagpur have enlisted departments where there are vacancies.
IITs were recruiting at entry-level earlier and when they were not able to find suitable candidates from the reserved categories, they had the authority to de-reserve the post after a year. It was one of the major reasons why the diversity amongst the teachers was skewed. Now, in the new policy, as a significant major change, the de-reservation is disallowed.
The ministry of education informed the Parliament in 2018 that out of the 6,043 faculty members working at the IITs, Scheduled Caste (SC) were less than 2.5% (149 only) and Schedule Tribe (ST) only 0.35% (21only). Central law requires government institutes to implement reservation of 27% in teaching staff for OBC candidates, 15% for SC and 7.5% for ST candidates. As such, in 2018, there were 757 posts of faculty members from SC and 432 posts of faculty members from ST were not filled. The poor representation of reserved quota candidates in centrally funded technical institutes was highly criticised by the parliamentary panel.