Dissent on EC decision to authorise VC on appointments

Dear Friends,

An EC meeting was held today with one point agenda (EC-notice-21-1- 2014): “to deliberate on authorizing the Vice Chancellor on behalf of the Executive Council to undertake action to ensure the speedy appointment of selected candidates.” The meeting was held at a short notice (less than 24 hours’ notice). When objections were raised, the house was informed that this was a requisitioned meeting. Six members of the EC had requisitioned the meeting – Prof Satwanti kapoor, Prof Anita Sharma, Dr. Savita M. Datta, Dr. K. S. Bhati, Shri N. K. Beniwal and Shri Sinha. It has to be noted that this matter is neither a matter of requisition nor an emergent issue.

The following resolution was passed with two dissents (Shri Javid Choudhary, the Chancellor’s nominee, and I dissented on the matter) :

“The Council resolved to give the Vice Chancellor an all time authorization of the Executive Council to approve appointments of Faculty and other group “A” Officers on its behalf and report the same in the subsequent meeting of the Executive Council.”

This is a systematic erosion of the Statutory bodies and their role. By passing this resolution, the EC has in effect amended the Statute without going through a due process which would also require Visitor’s approval. What is more worrisome is that this resolution also takes away from the EC its right to scrutinize and ensure that due process has been followed, before the appointments are made. Clause 7 of Statute 19 states that “The Selection Committee shall consider and submit to the Executive Council recommendations as to the appointment referred to it. If the Executive Council is unable to accept recommendations made by the Committee, it shall record its reasons and submit the case to the Visitor for final orders.” Thus by passing this resolution, the EC has removed this important mechanism.

We will represent on the matter to the Visitor as part of our duty. However, as an elected member who has kept the Visitor abreast of the malfunctioning of the Statutory bodies and misgovernance, I feel that it is unfortunate that a premier institution is being allowed to be destroyed as no relief has ever come.

Please find enclosed my detailed dissent note.

Regards
Abha


Dissent Note, EC meeting of 21 January 2014

The Notice (No. C-II/EC-2013-14) dated 20.1.2014 issued by the Registrar states that “A special meeting on emergent basis will be held on Tuesday, the 21st January, 2014” … “to deliberate on authorizing the Vice Chancellor on behalf of the Executive Council to undertake action to ensure the speedy appointment of selected candidates.”

The members were informed about the Special meeting of the Executive Council scheduled for 21 January 2014 at 12 noon through an email received only at 12:34 pm on 20 January 2014. I was informed telephonically about the meeting and the email around 3 pm. I presume that this would have been the case with most members. Subsequently, I had requested you (through an email this morning) for not going ahead with the Special Meeting of the Executive Council on an emergent basis notified for 21.1.2014.

I reiterate the issues raised in my letter as reasons for dissenting on the agenda:

1. The agenda item is not clear from the notice. It states that it is about ensuring “speedy appointment of selected candidates”. I could only presume without certainty that it is about recommendations for selection of candidates for the posts of Professor, Associate Professor and Assistant Professor, etc. Further, the object of the meeting is for the Executive Council to authorize the Vice-Chancellor to undertake action to ensure speedy appointment of selected candidates. This is an unprecedented move.

2. The Emergent meeting is improper as it does not specify what are the unanticipated circumstances leading to convening this meeting with only one day notice and since its object undermines the Act, Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Delhi. I wish to draw your attention to the following:

  • a. Statute 6(2)(i) clearly vests the following power in the Executive Council: “ to appoint from time to time, the Registrar, Librarian, Principals of Colleges and Institutions established by the University and such Professors, Readers, Lecturers and other members of the teaching staff as may be necessary on the recommendations of the Selection Committees constituted for the Purpose. ”
  • b. Statute 19 lays down the composition of the Selection Committees which are to include among others a certain number of experts to be nominated by the Vice-Chancellor out of the panel of names approved by the Academic Council. It also lays down the quorum of a meeting of a Selection Committee.
  • c. Clause 7 of Statute 19 states that “The Selection Committee shall consider and submit to the Executive Council recommendations as to the appointment referred to it. If the Executive Council is unable to accept recommendations made by the Committee, it shall record its reasons and submit the case to the Visitor for final orders.”
  • d. The Executive Council has to apply its mind in order to discharge the powers/responsibilities vested in it vide Statutes 6 and 19. These powers/responsibilities should not be delegated.
  • e. A duly notified regular meeting of the Executive Council should instead be convened. Further, the Executive Council members should be provided information as to whether Statute 19 has been duly followed in constituting each of the Selection Committees.
  • f. Statute 11-G(2) mandates that the Vice-Chancellor has to see that the Act, the Statutes, the Ordinances and the Regulations are duly observed and grants the Vice-Chancellor certain powers to discharge that duty such as the powers under Statute 11-G(3) to convene meetings of the Authorities of the University.
  • g. It is difficult to comprehend as to why holding the Executive Council meetings to appoint the selected candidates is being seen as a deterrent to “speedy” appointment. Appointments in the University have taken place over last one year in several Departments.

3. As the agenda of today’s meeting is regarding appointments in the University. I wish to once again reiterate that the modalities of implementing 200-point reservation using the College as one unit and the University as a unit as passed in the Executive Council meeting of 28 September 2013 are at variance with the clear directives issued by the UGC, MHRD and DoPT, Govt. of India. They undo the basic idea of treating the college/university as a unit and will work against mandated aims of reservation. The modalities being implemented by Delhi University are not acceptable on the following counts:

  • a. Backlog will be non-existent since the date of implementation announced by the University is 3.9.2013. Not determining backlog from the dates of implementation of the post-based reservation roster for SC/ST and OBC respectively is at variance with the laid down law.
  • b. Shortfall (of reserved and unreserved posts) will be identified against individual teachers department-wise and not for the entire college. This “shortfall” will be filled when the persons currently occupying the posts retire. This is an absurd interpretation of shortfall, as this has to calculated for the whole college, being defined as the difference between entitlement as per prescribed percentage and the number actually filled by reservation for the that category. Every post that is vacated in the future (and not only earmarked posts) must be added to the roster below so that the shortfall can be filled up gradually, subject to the 50% ceiling ie. Reserved vacancies < 50 % of (total vacancies – backlog).
  • c. Alphabetical arrangement of departments, and interspersing filled posts with vacant posts, makes the roster arbitrary and works against the principle of reservation, for two reasons:
  •         a. The number of vacant sanctioned posts is flexible. By adding or subtracting a vacant sanctioned post in any department all roster points below are affected. This makes the entire roster arbitrary and open to manipulation by Principals.
  •         b. In the 200 pt roster the number of reserved vacancies in a department will vary greatly as it depends on the accident of the name of the department and the number of vacant posts indicated. Thus the reserved vacancies will not be proportionately distributed across departments, which is inimical to the principle of social justice.

Implementation of Reservation roster should be in consonance with DoPT directives:

  1. The roster should be prepared by seniority w.e.f. 2.7.1997 for the College/University as a unit. The backlog for SC/ST should be identified from 2.7.1997 and for OBC from 21.3.2007, including for this purpose teachers who have retired/ resigned/ left the college since 1997. The backlog vacancies would constitute a distinct group within the total number of current vacancies and should not be filled without being subject to any ceiling. After deducting backlog from current vacancies, upto 50% of the remaining vacancies should be filled with reserved categories to cover shortfall + current reserved vacancies. The distribution within this 50% should be as per the prescribed percentage for each category, i.e. 27% for OBC, 15% for SC and 7.5% for ST.
  2. It would be in keeping with the social objectives of the Reservation policy that the total number reserved vacancies identified as mentioned above are distributed department-wise in a proportionate manner, so that diversity and inclusiveness within each Department is maintained. For this, the principle of entitlement per department could be used, so that roughly 50% of the vacancies in each department are reserved.
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