[AI] some clarifications

Nikhil Jain nik31 at rediffmail.com
Wed May 16 05:14:16 CDT 2007

This is in response to the ongoing discussion on nonimplementation of reservation in teaching posts appointments in institutions of higher learning with specific reference to D.U.

It may be recalled that inspite of a resolution passed by the EC of DU in 1994, the PWD act of 1995 and the judgment of Justice Sikri in 2001, violation of the 100 point roster that identifies the seats due to be reserved for the persons with disability has been chronic. It is pertinent to point out that while violation has been committed by almost every college affiliated to DU. The degree of violation is much higher in the university departments where the university administration is directly responsible for appointments. It is pertinent to emphasise here that even after 13 years since the promulgation of EC resolution of 1994, not even a single person with disability has been allowed to avail their constitutionally and legally guaranteed right to gainful employment.

These opening remarks are being made to set the ongoing discussion and the differences of opinion expressed there in into context. It may be recalled that the current discussion is based on conflicting evaluation of certain moves made by the DU towards fulfillment of 100 point roster and the backlog created owing to it’s nonimplementation for several years.

One of our esteemed discussant believes that the recent steps will have salutary effects in resolving the problems in the implementation of reservation policy for persons with disability. He argues that the current initiative by DU amounts to centralization of appointment process for disabled candidates. Further more, he argues that this would be beneficial for disabled candidates since, in his opinion, the university authorities are less biased than the college authorities.

I will like to argue that not only has our friend misunderstood the university advertisement No.Estab.IV/195/2007, dated May 8 2007, he also tries to understand the university initiative by posing a wrong debate. I would present my alternative on both these issues hoping to clarify some of the confusions arising from the discussion.

I believe that understanding nonimplementing of quota through perceived biases of the appointing authorities may not take our struggle very far. To begin with administrative bias is not the monopoly of the colleges. Infact in the University of Delhi, the university authorities have been much greater violators. As already pointed out, they have not appointed even a single disabled candidate in the university departments. Therefore, disabled candidates have to face administrative bias both in the colleges and in the university.

What is the way out then? I believe that way out is to compel the authorities to implement the provisions of 100 point roster. The 100 point roster guarantees two things. First, it identifies the seat due to be reserved for disabled candidates i.e the first, 34th and 67th seats falling vacant. Secondly it identifies the basic unit of calculating the roster i.e the entire cadre of teaching posts in the college, and faculties in the case of university departments. Such prior identification of seats puts a stop at administrative manipulation which has been the bane of reservation policy.

Till date our experience has been that appointing authorities deny appointments to disabled candidates by not identifying the seats due to be reserved. Consequently disabled candidates have to appear with general candidates in interviews, thus allowing authorities to reject them by invoking the criteria of candidates “not found suitable”.

In fact compelling disabled candidates to compete with general candidates in order to secure reservation is a violation of Indian reservation policy. Indian reservation policy is quite clear that candidates from different categories can not be made to compete with each-other. That is why in every reservation roster seats due to be reserved are earmarked category-wise. Even in 100 point roster, not only are the seats identified for the reservation but at the same time the reserved seats are clearly demarcated for different categories of disabilities. Dilution of these provisions of 100 point roster is the route of all manipulation and the resultant nonimplementation of reservation for persons with disability.

Thus we see that nonimplementation is not a result of some vague biases but a result of a tangible manipulation of 100 point roster. Hence I believe that our evaluation of the recent initiative of the university should be based on it’s degree of fidelity with the 100 point roster. The university advertisement fails in this litmus test. The advertisement mentions several university departments (and not colleges as is being confused) with vacancies. However, it fails to earmark the vacancies due to be reserved as per the 100 point roster.

This is a big violation since in the absence of seats being earmarked, disabled candidates and general candidates would be interviewed for the same cluster of seats. The situation is therefore ripe for biased administrators to deny reservation by declaring disabled candidate unsuitable. Very recently the Hansraj College utilized this very loophole to deny appointment to disabled candidates in the departments of history and Sanskrit even when the disabled candidates in question had high first division marks.

I believe, therefore, that the positive evaluation of the university initiative by our esteemed colleague is misplaced. He is equally misplaced in understanding that the current advertisement is for centralization of college appointment for disabled candidates. This is owing to a misunderstanding of the advertisement.

Those who have read the advertisement may notice that it contains three paragraphs. The first paragraph deals with vacancies that exist in different university departments. These vacancies were advertised way back on 27-06-2006. This paragraph also mentions that the last date for application to these vacancies is 25-05-2007 for disabled candidates. The second paragraph mentions that those candidates who have already applied for these posts before, need not apply again.

Thus the first two paragraphs are concerned solely with appointment to university departments. Only the third paragraph is concerned with the college appointments. Here the university suggests that disabled candidates may get themselves registered with the deputy registrar so that their details may be provided to the colleges as per requirement. Hence, this is more in the nature of making a data bank and has little to do with restructuring appointment process.

In sum we believe that the initiative by DU is highly retrograde in nature. It violates the 100 point roster that is the strongest security for ensuring reservation for the persons with disability. Therefore I appeal that people should not be hoodwinked by such chicanery rather they should be more vigilant to undo any attempt of the DU which violates the 3 % reservation. Moreover, we should also advocate the need to have the persons with disability as Liasion officers to have a vigil over the implementation of 100 point roster.

Note: “My statement made above do not intend or attempt to stop any one for applying for the said posts. I would rather like to appeal all of you to pour in with your applications so that DU authorities can not state in the media that there is a dearth of disabled candidates.

Thanks a lot for bearing with me for so long.

With love and care.

Nikhil Jain

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