New Delhi: The recent judgement of Supreme Court which changes the formula of calculating the reserved seats for appointment of faculty in Universities from 200 point Roster system to 13 point Roster system violates the reservation rights of the SC, ST and OBC faculties. After successfully implementing economic reservation system which clearly violates the core idea of reservation, another major attack on social justice has occurred in the name of the change in Formula (roster) to calculate the reserved seats for faculties in colleges and universities. Unlike 200 point Roster system which considered a university or a college as a unit, this new 13 point Roster system considers each department as a unit.

Under 200 point roster system whole college/university was considered as a unit and approximately 49.5% seats were reserved for marginalised categories which was further divided according to their respective representation, ie. OBC 27%, SC 15% and ST 7.5%. But according to the new 13 point roster system, OBCs would be allotted every 4th position (100/27=3.7) while a SC and a ST would be allotted 7th and 14th positions respectively. The danger of this tricky mathematics is that in the case of small departments, which have less than four faculty posts, no seats would be reserved! And if a department has less than 7 faculties, SC reservation will not be applicable. ST’s case is even worse, as they require department strength of 14. The issue is further worsened as this new unit will be further divided in terms of hierarchies i.e. (Professor, Assistant Prof. and associate prof.). As a result, in the departments which do not meet the minimum number of assistant professors, reservations won’t be implemented.

Reservation is a constitutional mechanism to ensure social justice. As we all know, Constitutional justice is only possible when social justice is ensured. The government can easily bring an ordinance to save the old system. But given the trend of dismantling social-backwardness based reservation by the government itself, it seems very unlikely. There’s a planned agenda which is being executed by the state and the judiciary through a series of events and judgements, to topple the basic constitutional rights of dalits and minorities. In savarna-dominated spaces like academia where the share of these marginalised communities are alarmingly low these anti-reservation moves are going to have an immediate and far-reaching impact that will push them to the margins for ever. Only a mighty and united protest against such anti-reservation moves can compel the government to reverse the system by an ordinance.

In this regard, SIO expressed its solidarity to the professors for the cause from Mandi House metro station to the Parliament street on 31st January, 2019 to raise the demand to bring back 200 point roster system.