No Hiring For ST, OBC Faculty in IIT Bombay Last Year: RTI

Here are the details of IIT Bombay’s lack of diversity in faculty recruitment as well as student admission, as revealed in RTIs through APPSC.

No Hiring For ST, OBC Faculty in IIT Bombay Last Year: RTI

In the previous academic year, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay did not hire any faculty members from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) or Other Backward Class (OBC) categories. This information was revealed through a Right to Information (RTI) request. The RTI request was submitted by the student organisation, Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC). 

The data showed, of the 21 teachers employed by IIT Bombay in 2023, only four were from Scheduled Castes (SC). This uneven recruitment process is consistent with the current caste makeup of the institute faculty. Of the total 718 professors, only 6 per cent come from backward groups. This is against the central university reservation policy. This policy grants SCs, STs, and OBCs, respectively, quotas of 15 per cent, 7.5 per cent, and 27 per cent. 

The RTI inquiry also highlighted the low admission rate of marginalised students to IITB’s PhD degrees. In 2023, 16 departments of the institute’s 39 did not accept a single ST scholar for a PhD. In September 2023, the APPSC disclosed that the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay had accepted 95 more general-category PhD applicants in 2023 while rejecting 80 seats for SC, ST, and OBC students. 

In November 2022, APPSC revealed that five departments at IIT Bombay have not accepted a single ST candidate in the last eight years. It further claimed that 11 departments had not accepted a single PhD candidate from the ST category from 2015 to 2019.

On July 29, 2023, the institute released anti-discrimination guidelines following the alleged caste-discrimination-related suicide of IITB student Darshan Solanki. Despite these measures, the issue of diversity in faculty recruitment and student admissions remains a challenge for IIT Bombay.

APPSC had previously requested similar RTIs for other IITs. It was found that IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur were also breaking the reservation policy when it came to faculty recruitment and PhD admission, respectively.

For the past few years, IITB and other IITs have been criticised for the lack of diversity among their faculty and student body. Despite orders from the Supreme Court (SC) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) to fill open professor positions through Mission Mode Recruitment (MMR) in compliance with the reservation policies, the institute has not yet reduced the discrepancy.

In December 2022, the SC issued a directive to the Centre seeking to adhere to the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019’s reservation policy for faculty recruitment at IITs and admission to research degree courses. 

In February, the State Minister for Education, Subhas Sarkar, claimed that up to 4,440 faculty positions for SC, ST, and OBC candidates have been filled at central universities, including IITs, under the MMR push.

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