The Cabinet on Thursday approved an ordinance to return faculty reservations in higher education institutions to the “200-point roster system”, whereby the University or college as a whole is considered as a unit, rather than each department.
This has been a major demand of a number of agitating teachers and student unions as well as political parties, including the NDA’s own Lok Janshakti Party.
LJP leader and Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan welcomed the decision as an example of the NDA’s commitment to the welfare of SC and ST communities and expressed his firm belief that the Parliament would approve the ordinance when it was next in session.
On January 22, the Supreme Court had upheld a previous Allahabad High Court decision mandating that the department be considered as one unit while implementing faculty reservations.
This system, termed the 13-point system, would mean there would effectively be no reserved seats in many smaller departments. Protestors have been demanding that the Centre file a special leave petition against the verdict, or bring out an ordinance to restore the previous system.
“This decision will also address the long standing demands of persons belonging to SCs/STs/SEBCs and ensure their rights envisaged under the Constitution,” said Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, on Twitter. “This decision will also now pave the way for filling up of more than 5000 vacancies by direct recruitment in Teachers’ Cadre.”