On June 9 last month, the HRD ministry of the government of India that Mr. Arjun Singh heads sent an order to all IITs. According to the order, 15%, 7.5% and 27% teaching positions are to be reserved for SC, ST and OBC categories respectively. And the reservations will be for the posts for lecturers and assistant professors in all subjects of science and technology. In other areas, like management, social sciences and humanities, reservations should be applied up to the professor level, the senior most position.
As reported, a very junior bureaucrat has signed the order. Can he do that on his own? For that matter, how can a bureaucrat in HRD ministry authorized to send such orders to the directors of IITs? It is an insult of the coveted IITs. If he can, there is no pont in calling IITs as institutes of national importance. Is it a way the politician minister in this country humiliates the educationists and technocrats? As the people’s representative can a minister keep on carrying out the malicious mismanagement of the institutes of, so called, national importance? Why is the minister hell-bent on spoiling these institutes that on its own strength are the only among the best of the world?
IITians must protest against this reservation of the faculty appointments in IITs. Parents of present and prospective IITians must join the protest. All young Indians must protest against the decision. How long the country goes on bearing with the silly autocratic decisions and whims of bureaucrats or ministers that are mostly taken to be in news and to please only the vested interest of some few. The people of India, particularly young and educated ones must understand and appreciate the mischievous plan to perpetually divide the Indian society with new nomenclature of ‘varnas’- SC, ST, OBC, and minority. Arjun Singh like BP Mandal and Mayawati wishes to go down in the history of the country as Messiah of the deprived class. Unfortunately, his main objective is to pull down the image of these institutes that has been earned with a lot of sacrifices and hard works of the students, academicians, teachers and statesmen. How can a sane man take such decision?
As reported, in a meeting of the Standing Committee of the IIT Council (SCIC), the directors have raised objections against the HRD ministry’s order that there should be reservations for teaching posts in the IITs. Even a number of alumni of IITs including Nandan Nilekani have spoken against this move of the ministry. However, the alumni from all over the world must make it a point to express their views against the move with an appeal to all the people of India to participate in this protest. They must get pressure exerted from all quarters that they can influence. Even CII, FICII and Assocham must come out more effectively to get the order revoked.
As I understood, the students of IITs are organizing the candlelight protest march. IITians must innovate all ways and means to get this decision revoked and see that such orders are never initiated again. Let them start with ‘Gandhigiri’ to meet the goal, but if necessary they must resort to other democratic means also. IITians must not remain deaf and dumb on this issue at least.
I wish media took it up more seriously that it took many criminal cases to get the right justice. The HRD ministry decision is more criminal and harmful for the country and its younger generation.
I have another request to the minister and the bureaucrats who have initialed the order. If they themselves are not able to understand what IITs mean for an Indian young man today, they must ask the nearest of the relative of theirs who is an alumni of IITs. Why don’t they carry on the administrative tasks so efficiently?
In the country’s education system at least, let only merit be the criteria for the teachers.
I appeal to all the readers to pass on the protest request to all the young men and women with whom they are in communication.
PS: It is unfortunate that neither media nor students community go to protest a damaging government decision, and even the institutions surrender.