10% Quota: Pvt Colleges Confused, Faculty Crunch Ails Universities

With EWS quota to be implemented in both pvt & govt universities, experts raise concerns about quality of education.

3 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

Human Resource & Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar’s announcement that 10 percent EWS quota will be applicable to government as well as private institutions hasn’t gone down well with many.

Those belonging to the fraternity of academia are now expressing concerns about a likely dip in the quality of education.

Though the private institutions are still waiting for the fine print from the HRD ministry, they are apprehensive over an increase in financial burden. On the other hand, professors at public universities are worried about the skewed teacher-student ratio which will only worsen with 25 percent increase in the number of seats.

Speaking to The Quint, Harivansh Chaturvedi, Director of Birla Institute of Technology & Management (BIMTECH) said, “There will be lot of issues, challenges and problems”.

“Private sector institutions which are not taking a single penny from the government, they are surviving on the (basis of) quality of education they are offering. Suddenly imposing 60 percent quota for different categories on private sector universities and institutions will not be an easy task.”
Harivansh Chaturvedi, Director, BIMTECH

In 2013, Rakesh Basant, a professor at IIM Ahmedabad along with Gitanjali Sen, associate professor at SRM University, had come out with a research paper on the impact of OBC quota announced by the UPA government in 2008. Basant and Sen had argued that reservation may have increase enrollment rates among OBCs but it was still not as high as compared to general population.

Responding to a question on EWS quota being implemented from 2019 itself, Gitanjali Sen told The Quint in a telephonic interview, “In higher education, you cannot expect things to happen overnight”.

“Either the government subsidises it (higher education) or through some other source, they would have to subsidise it. I don’t think that can be done in such a hasty manner because then the finances need to be arranged. If you plan to expand 50 percent (quota) by next academic year, how are you going to do that?”
Gitanjali Sen, Professor, SRM University

While private colleges have their own concerns about 10 percent quota, even the universities that receive aid from the government are worried about their ability to handle a sudden influx of students.

Saikat Ghosh, an assistant professor at SGTB Khalsa college of Delhi University (DU) and member of DU’s Academic Council is of the opinion:

“We don’t have enough resources to deal with the current student intake. When the current student intake had increased in 2008, with the OBC reservation infrastructure and additional teaching hands were promised to the university and neither of these promises have been fulfilled in their entirety.”
Saikat Ghosh, Member, DU Academic Council

Ghosh further explained that the second tranche of vacancies, that was due to be released after the first list came out, following the OBC reservation, were never announced.

As a result, the University of Delhi has been catering to students with an army of 4,500 ad hoc teachers who have been protesting since last few months demanding their regularisation.

About 40,000 colleges and 900 universities affiliated to the government would be going ahead with EWS quota in the next academic session. The question bothering academicians is whether higher education institutions are well-prepared to implement the new legislation.

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