Academic Forum for Social Justice
The University of Delhi is a fully funded Central University established under an Act of Parliament. As per the provisions of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admissions) Act of 2006 (CEI Act), the University should reserve its seats as follows: 15% for Scheduled Castes, 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes, and 27% for Other Backward Classes. However, what is practiced in the University is a systematic denial of seats to the students belonging to the reserved categories. The University has been given huge amounts as grants to provide reservation, but the seats of the reserved categories are systematically diverted to the General Category.
The following data obtained through the Right to Information Act (Original Application No. 1208 of 2012) by the Academic Forum for Social Justice, an organization of the teachers of the University, is, to say the least, shocking. Just in the year 2011, the University left vacant more than 6000 seats earmarked for the reserved categories. At the same time, there is gross over admission in the General Category. The following table is based on the information given by the University (Reply No. Info/OA/1208/ 2012/6198, dated 31 July 2012):
(*Includes the following supernumerary categories: Physically Challenged: 3%; Foreign National: 5%; Armed Forces: 5%; Sports & Extra Curricular Activities: 5%; Kashmiri migrant: 1%; and Sikkimese : (14 seats in colleges with hostel facility).)
By overshooting the sanctioned seats for General Category, the University of Delhi has found an unofficial way of diluting the percentage of reservation of seats mandated by the CEI Act. The table shows that the percentages for all the reserved categories are way below the mandatory percentage if we take the overall admission into consideration. The University takes the defense that the General Category figures are exaggerated as it includes supernumerary category. However, all the supernumerary categories together do not come to more than 20%. Even by this calculation, more than 9000 excess admissions have been done in General Category in 2011 and more than 6000 reserved category seats were left vacant.
Apart from diluting the percentage of reservation, the University is also guilty of adopting a highly discriminatory process of admission for SC/ST. The procedure of admission devised by the University puts the applicants through enormous hardships by depriving them the facilities like online application (which was available for the General Category), confines their options of courses and colleges about twenty times less compared to that of General Category candidates, and gives them no option of moving to a college and course of their preference once they have taken admission. Currently, the Delhi High Court has admitted a Writ Petition challenging the admission procedure for SC/ST and has issued notice to the University.
We appeal to all the supporters of social justice in India to come forward and oppose the way in which vested interest groups in the University have been making a mockery of the provisions provided for by the Constitution of India and the Parliament of India. Funds to the University have to be immediately stopped if the University is not taking steps to safeguard the rights and privileges of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other socially and educationally backward groups of our country.
Kedar Kumar Mandal
(President, Academic Forum for Social Justice)
Mobile No: +919811005357
(General Secretary, Academic Forum for Social Justice)
Mobile No: +919811971166