HRD Ministry to begin faculty recruitment 'immediately'

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar

New Delhi (IANS) Following the Union Cabinet decision on recruitment, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said he will ask universities to begin the recruiting process "immediately".

Earlier in the day, the Union Cabinet announced that it approved the proposal for promulgation of "The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Ordinance, 2019" for consideration of the 'University/ College' as a unit instead of 'Department/ Subject' for faculty recruitment. 

When assented to by the President, the ordinance will circumvent the 2017 Allahabad High Court decision which had made the department the recruiting unit. 

Javadekar called the ordinance a "historic decision" and said that recourse to it was taken only after all approaches to the "due process of law were extinguished". 

The ordinance was enacted after the Supreme Court rejected a Special Leave Petition and a review petition filed by the University Grants Commission, an autonomous body in charge of making recruitment norms. 

Since the 2017 order, teachers have been up in arms against the idea of the department being made the unit to consider for recruitment, as they said it undermined the chances of candidates from the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes category. 

"This decision will allow filling up of more than 5,000 vacancies by direct recruitment in Teachers' Cadre duly ensuring that the Constitutional Provisions of Articles 14, 16 and 21 shall be complied with and stipulated reservation criteria for the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes are met with," the government said in a statement on the decision. 

Several central universities across the country are reeling under severe shortage of teachers with most of them making do with ad hoc or temporary teachers for years. 

The Delhi University alone is said to be hit with a shortage of 47 per cent and is largely steered by thousands of ad hoc teachers hired in place of permanent teachers. 

According to the data IANS obtained from the HRD Ministry, the Jawaharlal Nehru University too has 34 per cent of its seats vacant. 

The situation is worse at the central universities of Haryana, Allahabad and Himachal Pradesh where the vacancy is stated to be 76 per cent, 67 per cent and 60 per cent of the sanctioned strength, respectively. 

Worst of all is the state of Central University of Orissa, where 88 per cent faculty positions are vacant. 

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