In response to recent concerns, the Ministry of Education (MoE) issued a clarification stating that no reserved posts can be de-reserved as per the draft guidelines proposed by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The directive reiterates the adherence to the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019, and emphasizes the importance of filling vacancies in accordance with the regulations.

UGC’s Position: No De-Reservation of Reserved Category Positions

University Grants Commission Chairperson M Jagadeesh Kumar provided clarity, stating that there has been no de-reservation of reserved category positions in Central Educational Institutions (CEIs) in the past. Furthermore, he assured that there will be no de-reservation in the future. The UGC emphasizes the significance of all higher education institutions making concerted efforts to fill backlog positions in the reserved category.

Reservation Guidelines and Act Compliance

The circular from the Department of Personnel and Training reinforces the principle that vacancies reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), or Other Backward Classes (OBCs) must be filled by candidates belonging to the respective categories. The draft guidelines acknowledge the possibility of declaring a reserved vacancy as unreserved in “rare and exceptional cases.”

Procedure for De-Reservation

In cases where a vacancy in a Group A position cannot remain unfilled due to public interest, the proposal for de-reservation must follow a specific procedure. For Group C or D positions, the proposal should go to the Executive Council of the University, and for Group A or B positions, it should be submitted to the Ministry of Education for necessary approval. Once approved, the post can be filled, and the reservation may be carried forward.

Conclusion: Upholding Reservation Principles

The MoE’s clarification underscores the commitment to uphold reservation principles in CEIs. The guidelines aim to strike a balance between the need to address rare and exceptional cases where vacancies cannot remain unfilled and ensuring that reserved positions are not de-reserved without due process.*

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