The University Grants Commission clearly mentions that there will be reservation for the candidates from the OBC category in the hostels. However, most of the postgraduate hostels do not notify or implement the stipulated reservation policy.

The University of Delhi (DU) has come under the scrutiny of students due to the inability of the authorities to provide reservations to candidates from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota in hostels. The University has a number of hostels under its fold namely D.S. Kothari Hostel, Gwyer Hall, Jubilee Hall, Mansarover Hall, Post Graduate Men’s Hostel, and VKRV Rao.

A group of students from the University came together against this mismanagement and have demanded reservation rights to the OBC category in hostel accommodations. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had circulated the Central Educational Institutions  Reservation in Admission) Act 2006 and Amendment Act, 2012 to all central educational institutions directing them to reservation provisions including the admission of OBC students to these institutions.

However, most of the hostel notifications do not mention OBC reservations for the postgraduate students in DU. Satchit, a student of Cluster Innovation Centre, and a resident of Post Graduate Men’s Hostel spoke to DU Beat about this matter. He said, “My department provides five seats to be allotted in the hostel- two seats for  candidates belonging to the general category, two for candidates from the OBC quota, and one for SC/ST candidate. But the hostels do not have reservations per day. The department provides reservation from their end, but the hostels have no such policy. Thus, even if an OBC student has been allotted a hostel seat, he may not necessarily get it.”

According to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the University Grants Commission  has issues instruction to all the grant-in-aid institutions, funded by the Government except minority institutions under Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India to implement 27% reservation for the OBC candidates.

“As per the information available with the Ministry, during 2015-16, 22 out of 40 Central Universities have successfully achieved the prescribed percentage of student intake from OBC Community,” the MHRD  told the Parliament two years ago.

The Ministry further added, “All Indian Institutes of Technology/National Institutes of Technology/Indian Institutes of Information Technology achieved the stipulated 27 % intake of OBC students. Further, 13 Indian Institutes of Management out of 19 and 22 out of 31 National Institutes of Technology recorded more than the stipulated 27% student intake.”

“The Ministry of Human Resource Development through UGC instructs Universities/Institutions to furnish periodic reports on the implementation of reservation guidelines for OBCs for admissions to courses at all level and Hostel accommodation for students,” it said.

(With inputs from NDTV)

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Stephen Mathew

[email protected]

Read on to know how this indoctrinated system of privilege makes us blind towards the condition of those who come under the reserved categories. 

On entering your University of Delhi (DU) college, you will find people who belong to the reserved categories. Before you pass a quick, seemingly harmless judgement, here are several things you must consider.

  • Equality vs Equity:

Reservation and equality are talked about simultaneously. While reservation is not synonymous to equality, it becomes imperative to know that the reserved and the unreserved categories do not have the same pedestal to start from. High-handed statements about reservation having been there for seven decades, and that there is no discrimination in the ‘India of today’ will instantly evaporate on reading a newspaper, with headlines screaming of caste-based discrimination and violence. 

We must also understand that caste-based and economic discrimination are not very different from each other. In a society where we have certain jobs like manual scavenging, cleaning toilets, etc. ascribed to a particular section of society, we must not take education away from them because it is the only tool that they have to dream of an upward social mobility. 

  • They get it easier:

People who have access to convents and DPSs, with world-class education, and people who don’t even have funds for a decent basic education, write the same board exams, and are marked irrespective of their social background. For that student to score above 75%, with the limited amount of resources is, if anything, more difficult than their privileged counterparts. 

22.5 per cent of the total numbers of seats is reserved in DU for candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes (15 per cent for Scheduled Caste and 7.5 per cent for Scheduled Tribes, interchangeable, if necessary), as per DU’s website. And although the numbers vary in different surveys, the amount of SC and ST inhabitants in the country is over 25%. Therefore, to say that every reservation candidate will get into DU is a rather poorly researched argument. 

  • It is time reservations should end: 

“Discrimination is already illegal in India. In fact, so is murder. Yet court after court is acquitting self-confessed brutal mass murderers of Dalits,” Vidyut, Founder of the website Aam Janta, writes. People feel reservations are divisive, and they are. But they are the effect, and not the cause. People should take it upon themselves to end discrimination, and the need of reservation will end, thereof. 

  • The fault in our systems: 

 “If the general category students think they are losing out of seats then their fight should be for more colleges and universities,” says Niharika Dabral, an outgoing student of the Varsity. Rather than ending caste-based reservations, management quotas that reek of nepotism and networking is the real fault that exists in our system. 

For a central educational institution like DU, it becomes a moral responsibility to make sure it has seats reserved for the underprivileged to safeguard their rights because they do not have the kind of money to pay the tuition for privately-funded institutions, let alone give donations to get admitted – as is not uncommon. 

All being said, reservation isn’t the medicine that the society is meant to ingest to cure it of caste-based discrimination. Rather, it is a protective measure that is here to stay till the psychological cleansing has been done, and people recognise each other for what they are – humans. 

Feature Image Credits: Aam Janta

Maumil Mehraj

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The judgement of the Supreme Court that led to the “dilution” of the Prevention of Atrocities Act has triggered a debate regarding the tussle between personal liberty and social justice. This article takes a look at this discourse.

The recent judgement by the two-member bench of the Supreme Court in the Subhash Kashninath Mahajan Vs. The State of Maharashtra case brought an amendment in the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) Act, 1989 and protests across the country leading to the death of nine people and several injured. The judgement excluded the PoA Act from exclusion of granting anticipatory bail to the accused after the lodging of FIRs and also made it compulsory for a public servant to have a written permission from the employer and for a non-public servant to get a written permission from the Senior Superintendent of the Police before any arrest can be made. It also allowed for a “preliminary enquiry” before an FIR could be lodged to find out if the accusation was “frivolous” or “motivated”.

The judgement is based largely on the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data which contrary to popular opinion do not reflect the misuse of the PoA Act, but the non-implementation of it. The NCRB data revealed that the conviction rate for cases filed under the Act was 15.4 percent. However, the judgement failed to note that in the same year, 40,801 cases of crimes against Dalits were registered (this ignoring the large measure of such crimes that go unreported).

The Indian Express featured a report on the same that had mentioned a senior official at the Director General of Police, who claimed, under the condition of anonymity, that the figures under the PoA for 2016 were around five to six percent, which has also been an average observed in the last couple of years. So, the claims that the Act has been misused seem to be unfounded. This is what the figures say. However, the judgement itself is largely on the basis of an acute sense of oblivion of the socio-economic reality of the country. As growing cases of violence against Dalits show, caste-biased forces are active not just in the public arena but also in the highest echelons of justice. P.S. Krishnan, the original author of the 1989 Act and renowned civil servant, points out the repercussions that come with any assertion of constitutional rights that SCs/STs take, such as massacres, mass arson, witness tampering, intimidation, physical and verbal abuse, assault etc. “These facts are so well-known and notorious that the Supreme Court will be required to take judicial note of it,” he writes in an open letter. As the premier law-enforcing institution in the country, the judgements of the Supreme Court need to be reflective of such a reality. The original 1989 Act, enacted under the Rajiv Gandhi government, was in response to the rampant atrocities faced by the SCs and STs. In such a sense, the 1989 heeds the caste-biased nexus between the law-bureaucracy-and the executive of the country while the 2018 judgement ignores it.

The recent judgement also stems from a desire to correct a so-called “misuse” of law, a claim (as already seen) that cannot be backed by facts and hence, has underpinnings of a desire for vengeance. Such an approach by the judiciary is unlikely to solve anything. While the judgement quoted the ideals of personal liberty and freedom of the individual as being central to its decision, it fails to see the rights of the individual in the context of a larger, community-based macrocosm. While this overemphasis on the individual might not necessarily be undesirable, acts like the PoA are part of the state policy of positive affirmation and hence, need to be seen in Dalit or Adivasi existing in a vicious web of hostile forces that begin from the local upper-caste politician to the unhelpful police force, such a decision is bound to be a catalyst for further alienation.

Noted Italian thinker, Antonio Gramsci’s ideas on the manufacture of consent through the cultural hegemony of the bourgeoisie, which lead to the exploitation of the already marginalised, find a place here. Gramscian ideas have inspired social movements that rely on explicit strategies to counter the knowledge and cultural systems created by the dominant classes, which propagate a preponderant notion of what is legitimate and what is normal. The opposition to the Supreme Court judgement seems to arise from such a desire, and very rightly so.


Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express

Sara Sohail
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Instead of calculating the number of reserved seats based on the total number of faculty members at a university, the UGC wants the calculation to be department-wise.

While hearing a case on teachers’ recruitment in Banaras Hindu University in April this year, the Allahabad High Court held that reservation in teaching posts has to be applied department-wise by treating the department as a “unit” and not the university.

In response to the above verdict, the University Grants Commission (UGC) last month decided to implement a new formula for reservation in teaching posts in the university. Now, if Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) decides to accept the decision, it could result in lesser positions for SC, ST and OBC faculty on university campuses, according to PS Krishnan, former secretary to the central government and an expert on the subject.

The Court condemned UGC for applying reservation in a “blanket manner” and advised the regulator to revisit its implementation. According to a report by the Indian Express, “If the University is taken as a ‘Unit’ for every level of teaching and applying the roster, it could result in some departments/subjects having all reserved candidates and some having only unreserved candidates. Such a proposition again would be discriminatory and unreasonable. This again would be violative of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution,” the Allahabad High Court had observed in its verdict that cancelled the BHU recruitment and asked it to start afresh.

As per official data, there are 17,106 teaching positions at 41 UGC-funded central universities, of which roughly 35 percent seats are vacant, as of April 1, 2017. Any change in the implementation of reservation will affect all new recruitment drives taken up by universities in future. The number of SC, ST, OBC faculty positions currently are calculated by treating the university as a “unit”. This practice grouped or clubbed together all the reserved quota for all posts of the same grade, say, professor, across different departments in a university. If the new UGC formula is accepted by the HRD ministry, the reservation would be applied by treating each department in a university as a “unit”. This means the number of reserved posts at the same level will be determined separately for each department; calculated based on the total posts in each department.

Krishnan, who has worked in the field of social justice for SCs, STs, and OBCs for more than six-and-a-half decades, told the Indian Express, “Take professors, for instance. There are fewer professors in a department compared to assistant professors. If a department has only one professor, there can be no reserved posts there as reservation cannot be applied in case of a single post. But if all posts of professors across different departments are clubbed together, then naturally there is a better chance of positions being set aside for SC, ST, and OBC,”

He further added,” If our goal is to strengthen India by giving opportunities to persons belonging to the submerged populations, who have become qualified, then we should interpret rules or make rules to enable them to come in due numbers. If our aim is to weaken India then we can interpret rules in a manner, which defeats the goal of reservation.”

The UGC’s Standing Committee examined 10 court judgments on the subject and recommended that the Allahabad High Court’s verdict should be applied to all universities. The UGC is learned to have shared this decision with the HRD Ministry and is waiting for its “concurrence”.

Feature Image Credits: Digital Learning


Oorja Tapan

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In a progressive step towards giving equal access to PWD students, the University of Delhi will now have reserved seats for acid attacks survivors and students with thalassemia and dwarfism.

These reservations are mandated bythe Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. According to this Act, all government institutions of higher education and other higher education institutions which get government aid must reserve at least 5% of the seats for persons with benchmark disabilities. Acid attack survivors and other disabilities such as dwarfism, muscular dystrophy, and slow learners have also been included under benchmark disabilities.

Anil K. Aneja, nodal officer of the DU equal opportunity cell claims that, “The files are under process and if everything goes according to the flow, we will implement the reservation policy as per the new act which asks to reserve 5 per cent seats for a person with benchmark disability during admission. We will also try to comply with the 4 per cent reservation in employment provision.”

Delhi-based acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal welcomed this move and said, “This will help create more awareness among people about acid attack victims. Most of the times, these victims feel alienated, and reluctance on our part to accept them further increases their plight. Reservation in universities such as DU is very supporting for us.”

In a survey conducted by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEDP), it was found that a mere 0.56% of seats in higher education go to disabled candidates.

It is expected that after these developments, the university space will become inclusive.


With inputs from the New Indian Express and The Asian Age

Feature Image Credits: Digital Learning

Niharika Dabral
[email protected]

Kashmiri migrants will continue to get 5 per cent quota in admissions to undergraduate courses, according to the admission panel of Delhi University. A top official of the committee, responsible for admissions of the upcoming session, informed that the panel has recommended no change in their reservation process. Recently, the Human Resource Department Ministry had questioned the aforesaid concession in its letter to the university.

The official further informed that the applicants for this quota will be required to submit the certificate of registration as a Kashmiri migrant, proof of property in Kashmir and proof of current residence in Delhi along with their applications, along with other required documents for the procedure. This quota is considered to be ‘over and above’ other reserved categories and will not affect the general admission process.

Final recommendations of the admission panel will be submitted to the Vice Chancellor and the final admission policy will be declared by the end of this month.


With Inputs from TOI

Lovleen Kaur

[email protected]

The proposal of Delhi government for the reservation of 85% seats for the Delhi domicile students in all 12 colleges wholly funded by state government and other 16 colleges receiving 5% of its fund from Delhi government, has been rejected by the University of Delhi on the 16th of April 2014. This break has been unfolded by an RTI application filed by Abhishek Ranjan, RTI Activist who is an ex-student of the University on 3rd March. These colleges include Maharaja Agrasen College, Shaheed Rajguru College, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Keshav Mahavidyalaya and Deen Dayal Upadhayay College.

Ranjan had appealed to the Prime Minister Office (PMO) directly for getting first hand information on the issue. On receiving his application, the PMO forwarded it to Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry. The University was then asked to provide answers to Ranjan’s letter no. F.No.63-4(3)/2014-CU-III, dated 14th March 2014.

“Being a law student, I wanted to know whether such reservation can be allowed in a Central University. I filed the RTI asking if such proposal can be accepted by any Central University, whether there has been any such proposal in DU and if yes, what decisions have been taken on the matter. According to me if this kind of reservation is allowed in DU now, then people will start asking for similar reservations in other universities like JNU. ” says Ranjan. He added that new colleges should be open, number of seats should be increased and even introduction of evening shifts in colleges can be there in order to solve the problem of admissions of the Delhi domicile students.

R.K. Verma, Principal Secretary of Department of IT had written to Dinesh Singh, Vice Chancellor of Delhi University on 25th February 2014, asking for reservations and mentioning that the students of Delhi have to go outside Delhi for pursuing higher studies because of lack of institutions in Delhi which could provide admission to all students passing their higher secondary exam from the schools of Delhi. On 27th March 2014, the Assistant Registrar (Academics) of Delhi University in his reply mentioned that the proposal submitted by the University for the reservation of seats can’t be accepted, Delhi University being a Central University.

Nandita Narain, the President of DUTA expresses her views on the matter, “We, at DUTA, totally agree with the decision of the University. Diversity from all over the country is one of the highlighting features of our university. The proposal by Sheila Dixit government was totally an unacceptable one on the grounds of Delhi University being a Central University and not a State University.”

For more information on the RTI application, HRD Ministry letter to DU and University’s reply to the RTI Activist, check out this link.



Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, founder of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena (BSKS), along with his group is up in arms to oppose the Aam Aadmi Party’s move to reserve seats for students of Delhi in the University of Delhi.

Under the tagline “Khoon se khelenge holi gar watan mushkil mein hai, sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab humare dil mein hai“, BSKS shot to fame after assaulting one of the founding members of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Prashant Bhushan in his Supreme Court chamber in October 2011. In the past, the group has also protested against Kapil Sibal, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Arundhati Roy.

However, the group is taking a rather softer approach this time against the reservation move, by sending a petition to the Chief Minister of Delhi and going on a hunger strike. The group has also resorted to hunger strikes in the past, a previous one in the support of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

Taking on AAP’s proposal towards reservation for Delhi domicile students in DU, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga has started a petition on change.org which will be sent to the C.M. of Delhi. In its petition, Tajinder Pal Singh terms the move to reserve seats in DU as ‘completely partisan, myopic and self-serving decision for petty vote bank politics’. According to him, the move could have severe ramifications for India’s identity of pluralism. Citing examples of electricity and water, that are supplied to Delhi from other states, he reasons that DU should be open to students from all over the country. He plans to go on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar from 27th of January.

He says that the solution to the dearth of seats could be setting up of new colleges and granting university status to some colleges, as has been the case with the Presidency College of Calcutta University. “It is a dream of many students to study in DU. A better solution to the problem of lack of seats for the regional students could be creation of new colleges and evening shifts in the existing colleges”, he tells us in a telephonic conversation.

With the last Delhi government bringing in the proposal to provide 90% quota to Delhi students in Delhi University colleges that are 100% funded by it and 50% quota in colleges that are partially funded by it, political parties seem to be jumping on to the bandwagon to reserve seats for the local students in the premier university. Taking a leaf out of their agenda, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seems geared up for state reservation in the 90 year old University.

The new education minister Manish Sisodia in a recent interview to a national daily about reservation for local students in Delhi University said- “They (the last government) had merely announced it, but we are going to enforce it”. He has his own reasons to take up this issue of reservation in DU. He says that since the citizens of Delhi are paying for these colleges, it should be used by them. Besides, he emphasises the need of a roadmap for 2.57 lakhs students passing out of the city schools every year.

On the contrary, in an interview to DU Beat (one that will be published soon), AAP MLA from Timarpur and Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) Secretary, Harish Khanna had said that since DU is a central university, students from all over the country have equal right to study here. Consisting mostly off-campus colleges, in all there are 12 colleges that are fully funded  and 16 that are partially funded by the state government.

Rohit Chahal of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) comes out against the move. He said that it has been 14 years since a new college has been established in DU and a central university like DU should be open to students from all over the country. He added that rather than finding a permanent solution to this problem by opening new colleges, AAP and Congress are to be misleading the people.

On the face of it, DU being a Central Educational Institution is governed by the Central Educational Institutions Act, 2006 that does not provide for reservations in the central universities on the basis of domicile. Even the HRD ministry and the DU officials seem sceptical of the futility of this issue. Principals of various colleges have called this move impractical and one that violates DU rules. Nonetheless, this move seems to be a top priority for the new education minister.

With just months to go for the state elections, in October, the Congress-run Delhi government had proposed a revolutionary plan in favour of the students having their domicile in Delhi. The plan offered an average of 68 percent reservation in 28 colleges of the University of Delhi. Not leaving behind in the race to polls, the Bhartiya Janta Party too joined the track by claiming the decision as being instigated by its own party agenda. Nonetheless, the stakes are high and whether its a serious reservation docket or a fantastical poll mantra is still a matter of debate.

If passed, this plan would ensure that not less than 90 percent of seats would be reserved in colleges fully funded by the state government and about 50 percent in those partially funded by it. With the state elections nearing and taking into context the huge number of seats being reserved, this might eventually be seen as a politically-driven manoeuvre or even more less, a mere rhetoric.

Though, even after a month, the decision is still being condemned by various student bodies and has flared up the reservation debate once again with many terming it as a directed political twist. “It is a populist stunt and a political gimmick.”, said All India Students’ Association’s (AISA) National President, Sandeep Singh. “The state government should better take interest in improving the primary and medium level education system.”, he added.

ABVP is too flowing in the same wind. “DU is a central university, and state goverment should refrain from using it for its own poll agenda.” said ABVP’s National Executive Member, Raj Kumar Sharma. When asked about the similar poll agenda by BJP, he made a clear distinction between the two parties saying that ABVP works in interest of students and has its own perception.

The Bhartiya Janta party too came out all guns blazing, with Dr. Harshwardhan, the Chief Ministerial hopeful from the party referring this to as indirect plagiarism. “Our party’s national president Shri Rajnath Singh ji has already raked up the issue several times and Congress has just taken a leaf out of his book.”, he said.

Though, Congress is getting support on this from the party’s students wing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), with President Rohit Chaudhary fully supporting the plan. “Certain DU colleges are funded by the state government and hence Delhi students must have the advantage of reservation.” he said.

Aam Aadmi Party, the first time contender in the State elections refused to comment on the issue.

With varying approaches to the issue from the different contesting parties, it might be adhering to poll tactics keeping in mind the large vote bank of young voters in the stake.

Image Credit: Sahil Jain