New Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia has decided to reserve five per cent seats for wards of its employees despite Delhi High Court having quashed such an arrangement in 1997, prompting few faculty members to raise the issue with President Pranab Mukherjee , Visitor to the varsity.
In a petition to the President, Obaid Siddiqui, Professor at Jamia's Mass Communication Centre has said, "The High Court had in 1997 quashed the five per cent reservation given to sons/daughters/spouses of permanent employees of Jamia Millia Islamia, as unjustified.
"For about a decade such reservations were rightly discontinued, but the university has once again started the process despite a judicial verdict in place," the petition said.
A decision in this regard was recently taken by university's Executive Council which granted approval for reservation of 5 per cent supernumerary seats (over and above the existing seats) to the wards of Jamia employees in all programmes of study, excluding Bachelor programmes in Dental Science and Architecture.
"This reservation has been resorted to by a resolution of the Executive Council. This is in violation of the Jamia Millia Islamia Act. The Ordinances relating to admissions and reservations have not been amended. The university has deliberately and with malicious intent, followed a back door procedure to justify such reservations," the petition submitted.
Another teacher of the university said on condition of anonymity, "There are other universities which have a certain reservation in place for wards of Grade C and D employees but granting such a benefit to professors and top officials of the university is unjustified".
Jamia authorities, however, say that the seats will not be reserved from the existing strength but will be added extra.
"These will be supernumerary seats and not reserved from the existing strength. Also, the merit and eligibility conditions will apply the same as that of general category," Jamia spokesperson Mukesh Ranjan said.
"If the university has infrastructure to accommodate more students then it should increase the number of seats for general public. Such special provisions for admission will amount to misuse of taxpayer's money," the petitioner added.
While Delhi University has a "ward quota" for children of non-teaching staff, Jawaharlal Nehru University is in process of introducing a similar quota for Grade C and D employees from the upcoming academic session.