New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill that proposes to make university or college as a unit instead of the department for the purpose of providing reservation for filling teachers posts in central educational institutions.
The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Bill 2019, which will allow filling about 8,000 existing vacancies in 41 central universities and also provides 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections, was introduced to replace an ordinance issued in March this year.
A resolution moved by the Congress leader Adhir Rajan Chowdhury to refer the bill to the standing committee was rejected by the House.
Human Resource Development Minister (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said the bill will give a major push to reforms in the education sector, making it inclusive and fulfilling aspirations of people from different categories.
Describing this bill as the beginning of a new era in the country's education sector, Nishank said this proposed legislation shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's commitment for the welfare of the last man in the row.
Taking on parties which opposed the bill that seeks to restore the earlier reservation system based on the 200-point roster, Nishank said it has exposed their lack of commitment to the welfare of backwards in society.
While moving the Bill for passage, the Minister said it aims to provide for reservation of posts in appointments by direct recruitment of person belonging to the SC, ST, Socially an Economically Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) to teachers' cadre in certain Central Education Institution.
He informed the house that there is a provision of 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in this bill also and the government has already approved an allocation of Rs 770 crore for reservation of EWS, he said.
During the debate, opposition members demanded that the Bill be referred to the Standing Committee for a comprehensive review.
Congress leader Adhir Rajan Chowdhury said his party is not opposed to the contents of the Bill but questioned the urgency of issuing an ordinance days before the announcement of Lok Sabha elections.
"I would oppose invocation of ordinance...this kind of arbitrary invocation of the ordinance does not augur well for a vibrant democracy," Chowdhury said.
The Minister said the ordinance was issued as the Supreme Court declined to consider the government view and rejected a review petition.
In March, the Cabinet had cleared an ordinance on reservation mechanism for appointment of faculties in universities.
The University Grants Commission had announced in March last year that an individual department should be considered as the base unit to calculate the number of teaching posts to be reserved for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates, following an order by the Allahabad High Court in April 2017.
The Supreme Court had in February dismissed a review petition filed by the HRD Ministry after its special leave petition against the court order was rejected by the apex court.
This was met with protests from teachers and students across the country.