NEW DELHI: Opposition members in Lok Sabha on Monday demanded that a Bill related to the reservation in filling a vacant position in central universities be referred to the Standing Committee for a comprehensive review.
Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Bill 2019, which seek to replace an Ordinance issued in March, will help filling about 8,000 existing vacancies in 41 central universities.
The Bill proposes to make university as a unit rather than a department for the purpose of providing reservation for filling teachers' position in central education institutions.
Human Resource Development Minister (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Bill 2019 also has the provision of 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS).
The government has already approved the allocation of Rs 770 crore for reservation of EWS, he said.
While moving the Bill for passage, the Minister said it aims provides for reservation of posts in appointments by direct recruitment of persons belonging to the SC, ST, Socially and Economically Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) to teachers' cadre in certain Central Education Institution.
Participating in the debate, Congress leader Adhir Rajan Chowdhury said his party is not opposed to the contents of the Bill but questioned the urgency of issuing an ordinance days before announcement of Lok Sabha elections.
"I would oppose invocation of the ordinance. This kind of arbitrary invocation of the ordinance does not augur well for a vibrant democracy," Chowdhury said.
He said that the BJP-led government had invoked a maximum number of ordinances in the history of Parliamentary democracy in the country.
Chowdhury demanded that the Bill should be referred to the Standing Committee for comprehensive examination.
Observing that reservation in the past was only given to socially and educationally backward sections and never to economically backward classes, A Raja (DMK) demanded that 10 per cent reservation of EWS should be kept in abeyance and the Bill should be sent to a Parliamentary Committee for scrutiny.
He said that his party was opposed to 10 per cent reservation for EWS.
Pratima Mondal (TMC) wanted to know why the government came out with an Ordinance three days prior to the announcement of Lok Sabha election.
She said the government was displaying authoritarian features.
Raising questions on the implementation of the Bill, Supriya Sule (NCP) wondered how reservation will be provided for the post of the vice-chancellor.
On the need for Ordinance, the Minister said it was issued as the Supreme Court declined to consider the government view and rejected a review petition.
In March, the Cabinet had cleared an ordinance on reservation mechanism for appointment of faculties in universities.
The University Grants Commission had announced in March last year that an individual department should be considered as the base unit to calculate the number of teaching posts to be reserved for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates, following an order by the Allahabad High Court in April 2017.
The Supreme Court had in February dismissed a review petition filed by the HRD Ministry after its special leave petition against the court order was rejected by the apex court.
This was met with protests from teachers and students across the country.
Rajiv Rajan (JDU) said that there was no point of sending this to Standing Committee and it should have been passed without debate.