IIT Kharagpur Faculty Diversity: Addressing Reservation Compliance and Representation Challenges

Despite reservations, the number of SC/ST/OBC faculty remains disproportionately low compared to the general category. The RTI findings reveal a similar trend across various IITs, indicating systemic issues in recruitment drives and adherence to reservation criteria.
Pic-  IIT Kharagpur official website
Pic- IIT Kharagpur official website

Lucknow- The skewed representation of SC/ST/OBC as faculties in the Institutes of Higher Education in India is something that plagues the institutions across the country.

In recent findings of RTI filed by Ambedkar Phule Periyar Study Circle, it has been revealed that 43 departments at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur do not have faculty from the Scheduled Tribe, 32 departments do not have candidates from the Scheduled Caste Category, while 23 departments do not have OBC faculty, and 23 departments overall do not have any SC/ST/OBC faculty.

Only two departments - Mechanical Engineering and Mining Engineering have one each ST faculty in their departments as there are total 2 faculties from their category in the entire campus.

The findings reveal that no female faculty and no ST faculty were selected in 2023 in the Kharagpur branch of IIT. Sub-division of categories on the basis of gender reveals a starker picture as only three departments at the IITs have female OBC faculty, and two have SC faculty.

There are a total of 17 SC faculty in the entire campus with 2 of them being female and the rest 15 male. SC candidates make around 2% of the total 742 faculties against a reservation of 15% for their category in institutes of higher education. OBCs too form just around 5.5% of the faculties against the mandated reservation of 27%.

At 681, the general category faculties far outnumber the faculties from SC/ST/OBC communities, who number just around 51 or around 6 % of the total faculties. Interestingly, at 111, females from the General Category also outnumber the total number of SC/ST/OBC candidates.

IIT Kharagpur was established in 1951 as the first IIT. In 2019, it was accorded the status of Institute of National Importance.

RTI reveals a dismal picture across IITs

The RTI is the third in the series of information accessed by APPSSC, earlier similar figures were revealed in IIT Kanpur and Delhi. the IIT Kanpur RTI revealed that there is no ST faculty across its 14 of the 19 departments. Further, In 2023, only nine candidates from SC/ST/OBC categories were selected across the institution’s nine departments. While 39 candidates from the General category got selected during the same period.

Mission Mode Recruitment Drive Fails in its Mission

The figures once again reiterate that the much-touted Mission Mode recruitment drive for Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and Other Backward Community (OBC) communities launched by the IITs in 2021 on the directions of the Ministry of Education seems to have fallen wide off the mark.

In August 2022, Minister of State for Education Subhash Sarkar had informed the Rajya Sabha that of the total 4600 posts lying vacant across the 23 IITs, IIT Kharagpur topped the list of posts lying vacant with 798 vacancies, followed by IIT Bombay at 517.

Less Faculties from Marginalised Communities Also have an Impact on the PhD Intake

The Mooknayak spoke to a representative from APPSC, who said the students from the marginalized communities are dissuaded from approaching the faculties in cases of some issue or discrimination as they fear that they would not get fair treatment with these faculties and rather may penalize them directly or indirectly for complaining.

" The students think that any complaints can infringe on the viva, practical, internals etc. Further, if there is no SC/ST/OBC faculty in a department then the interview panel constituted for PhD admissions also shall also not have them, which could impact the intake of students from these communities in PhD" he said.

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Pic-  IIT Kharagpur official website
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