Students Rally Against Discriminatory Policies for Fair Representation at Punjab University

Reportedly, there are claims of no reservation for backward and Other Backward Class candidates in teachers' recruitment, purportedly at "0 percent". Likewise, for non-teaching roles, the reservation rate is stated to be "2.5 percent", and for undergraduate and graduate courses, it is asserted to be "5 percent."
Students seated outside VC's office
Students seated outside VC's office

New Delhi- In the heart of Chandigarh, Punjab University's campus pulses with activism as students voice their grievances against systemic injustices. At the forefront of this movement is the Students For Society (SFS), rallying against the university's discriminatory practices in recruitment and admissions.

Their demands, encapsulated in a powerful memorandum, challenge the status quo and advocate for fair representation for marginalized communities. As tensions escalate and protests persist, the campus becomes a battleground for equality and justice.

Students For Society (SFS) President Sandeep articulated the frustrations of the students, particularly regarding the ongoing faculty recruitment process where BC/OBC reservation remains conspicuously absent.

In a discussion with The Mooknayak, the student leader conveyed dissatisfaction, highlighting the alleged absence of reservation for backward and Other Backward Class candidates in teachers' recruitment, purportedly standing at "0 percent". Similarly, for non-teaching positions, the reservation rate is reportedly "2.5 percent", while for undergraduate and graduate courses, it is indicated to be "5 percent.”

Punjab University operates as an independent body and doesn't fall entirely under state or central university regulations. This means it often aligns its policies with whichever rules promise the fewest reserved seats.

Sandeep mentioned that despite discussions with the administration, they plan to implement the reservation policy next year, even though this process goes against the constitution.

Regarding the ongoing protests, Sandeep stated that students have been holding sit-in protests outside the VC office for 24 hours straight, and Tuesday marks the thirteenth day of their demonstration.

The university has formed two committees—one for recruitment and another for admissions. Unfortunately, the recruitment committee lacks representation from the backward community, while the admissions committee only has one professor from that community.

Currently, interviews are ongoing for teaching staff at Punjab University. Interviews for the Sanskrit and Russian departments have already concluded, but there's been no provision for quotas. Despite efforts to stop the interview process due to constitutional violations, they've continued unabated.

Sandeep, the SFS president, vowed to take the issue to VC Prof. Renu, stressing the urgency of addressing this systemic failure.

Speaking about casteism on campus, Sandeep lamented its normalization. He highlighted how Dalit and Bahujan students receive fewer opportunities during interviews and face casteist insults regularly.

The students' demands go beyond words; they're pushing for concrete actions to address the stark disparities in BC/OBC representation. They're calling for an immediate implementation of a uniform reservation policy, ensuring fairness in recruitment, admissions, and academic pursuits.

The SFS emphasizes the pressing need for a complete overhaul of university policies. They advocate for the adoption of a 200-point roster system, treating the entire college as one unit. This system ensures transparent and equitable representation, with 99 out of every 200 seats reserved as mandated, leaving 101 seats unreserved.

Student Protestors
Student Protestors

Demands Raised by SFS in the Memorandum:

1. The university must abandon its discriminatory policy aimed at minimizing reservation and revise its undemocratic calendar to incorporate a fair reservation policy.

2. BC/OBC reservation should be enforced in the recruitment process, which is currently non-existent.

3. There should be an increase in SC and BC/OBC reservation quotas in both admissions and recruitment procedures.

4. Stop the unjust interviews for teacher recruitment immediately and re-issue all three recruitment notices with appropriate reservation policies and a 200-point roster system.

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