IIT-Madras on Wednesday admitted it had ignored government norms on reservation in faculty recruitment and agreed to fill up the backlog in vacancies for OBC, SC and ST staff, during a hearing here by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
According to E Muralidharan, an alumnus of IIT-M on whose petition the hearing was held at the commission’s State office in Sastri Bhavan, IIT dean C Sriram, who represented the institution at the hearing, sought six days to submit a report on the recruitment but orally admitted that the reservation rules had not been followed.
Muralidharan told Express that the elite institution has been flouting all government orders and court directions providing reservation for marginalised communities and has been maintaining that it was exempt from those quota rules.
A student of IIT-M between 1982 and 1990 when he received MS and PhD degrees in bio-medical engineering and recipient of ‘Institute Blues of IIT, Madras,’ an award given to the outstanding role model student for academics and extracurricular activities, Muralidharan has applied in vain for a faculty position eight times since 1995 when he returned to India after academic stints in the US and Japan.
In his memorandum to the chairman of the national commission for SCs and STs in New Delhi, dated December 17, 2010, he alleged that he was not selected for a job despite having the requisite qualification.
Subsequently, he wrote to Justice P L Punia, chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes, on November 11, 2011, saying that SC and ST academics with PhD and higher qualifications were being “denied and cheated of their rightful jobs in IITs and other institutions” while “the HRD Minister has been issuing statements in press and gave information to Parliament that there are more than 3,000 faculty vacancies in these institutions and planning to hire foreign faculties”.
Based on the representation, the commission requested the director of IIT-M to submit facts and information on the action taken on the allegations to the assistant director at the State office in Chennai.
However, after the IIT replied that it had exemption from reservation in scientific and technology faculty above the rank of assistant professors, citing two government orders, Muralidharan wrote back to the commission saying that the IIT was bound to follow the present rules, which prompted the commission to hold Wednesday’s hearing.