Polity & Governance Prelims cum Mains

Ordinance marks return of 200-point roster, corrects anomaly in OBC quota

The News:

  • Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the HRD Ministry’s proposal to bring an Ordinance to restore 200-point roster system for reservation in faculty jobs in higher education. This is intended to override the judgements in favour of a ’13-point roster’ system.
  • The ordinance also corrects a decade-old anomaly in reservation of teaching jobs for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).


200 point formula v/s 13-point roster

  • 13 point roster:
    • Under this formula, quotas are applied department-wise – that is, reserved posts will be determined separately for each department.


  • 200 point roster:
    • Under the 200 point formula, posts of professors across different departments are clubbed together, and reservations are provided at the university/college level.


Background: Court judgements favoured 13-point roster

  • Earlier, the number of SC, ST, and OBC faculty positions were calculated by treating the college/ university as a unit (200 point roster).
  • In 2017, a petition was filed in Allahabad High court that sought treating each department as a unit for calculating the number of reserved faculty posts (13 point roster).
  • The Allahabad High Court judgment ruled in favour of the 13-point roster system.
  • The Supreme Court also upheld the Allahabad High Court judgment favouring the 13-point roster.


Unintended consequences of the judgements:

  • The judgment was followed by the UGC order of March 2018 to implement the 13-point system. However, it actually resulted in fewer seats available for recruitment of reserved candidates in each department.
  • According to an estimate by the government, under the 13-point roster, the total posts across SCs, STs and OBCs in 21 central universities will shrink from 2,663 to 1,241.
  • Explanation of why the seats actually shrunk:
    • When quota is applied department-wise, reserved posts at the level of, say, assistant professor, will be determined separately for each department, based on total assistant professor posts in each department.
    • For Example:
    • If the department consists of 14 positions, the following will be applicable according to policy of reservation.
    • Since OBC has 27% reservation, first OBC seat will be created when the department reaches size of 4. Then second OBC post will be created when department size reaches 8 and the third OBC seat will be created when it reaches 12 post.
    • Similarly for SC, first SC post will be created when department size reaches 7. For ST, the first seat will be created only when department size reaches 14.
    • However, in case of very small departments, which has less than four faculty positions, no reserved seats will be created.
    • Similarly, for department of size of less than 7, there will be no seat for SCs, and similarly no reserved seats for STs in departments of size less than 14.
    • There are many departments in universities with less than 14 positions, and so the full quantum of reservation would never be reached.
  • However in case to 200 point roaster system, posts of professors across different departments is clubbed together, and there is a better chance of positions being set aside for SCs, STs, and OBCs.


News Summary

Demand for an ordinance to bring back 200 point roster:

  • With shrinking seats under 13-point formula, Dalit groups and political parties had been demanding the promulgation of an ordinance that will overturn the 13-point roster system and restore the 200-point roster system.

Ordinance to restore 200-point roster:

  • The Cabinet has cleared an ordinance to bring back the older system of taking the entire college/university as the unit for implementing reservations ( ‘200-point roster’ system), rather than the individual department (’13-point roster’ system).


Ordinance also corrects an OBC reservation anomaly :

  • Earlier, OBC quota for teachers in higher education was only applicable at the entry level i.e. assistant professor.
  • After the ordinance, the 27 per cent OBC reservation now also applies to posts at the level of associate professor and professor in case of “direct recruitment”.


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