Diversity Deficiency & the Defiance of the RTI act at the IIT Delhi

Egalitarians, on 27th April 2021, has approached the Indian Institute of Delhi (IIT Delhi) seeking caste and gender diversity details in PhD admissions and teaching faculty composition, under the Right to Information (RTI) act 2005. To which the institute has responded (with partial data) on 1st June 2021 (the same was received on 3rd June 2021 by Egalitarians).

Against the constitutionally mandated reservation of 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes (STs), 15% for Scheduled Castes (SCs), 27% for Other Backward Castes (OBCs), and 10% for Economically Weaker Sections (EWSs), in the academic session 2020-21, out of the total 861 (excluding foreign nationals) students enrolled for PhD at the IIT Delhi, the STs, SCs, OBCs and EWSs were 2.43%, 6.73%, 18.00%, and 6.15% respectively. Similarly, the caste diversity of candidates who have enrolled for PhD in the academic sessions 2018-19 and 2019-20 (see Table 1) also exposes IIT Delhi’s tacit complicity in following the constitutional mandate.

Table - IIT Delhi gender wise PhD enrollment in 2018 - 2021
Table 1

The institute does not fare any better in terms of gender diversity too. In the academic session 2020-21, of the total 861 (excluding foreign nationals) candidates who have enrolled for PhD, only 326 are female – that is 37.8 per cent (the respective gender diversity figures in PhD admission for 2018-19 and 2019-20 are given in Table 2).

Table - IIT Delhi category wise PhD enrollment percentage in 2018-2021
Table 2

Of the total 32 departments, in the academic year 2020-21, 20 (62.5%) have zero ST candidate, 16 (50.0%) have zero SC candidate, 4 (12.5%) have zero OBC candidate, and 2 (6.2%) have zero female candidate (for the diversity deficiency in 2018-19 & 2019-20 sessions, see Table 3), at the institute.

Table - IIT Delhi - department wise diversity deficiency in PhD enrollment from 2018 - 2021
Table 3

Diversity in PhD admissions are crucial as it serves as faculty-pool (in future) for breaking social homogeneity in premier institutes like IITs.  

Besides diversity in PhD admissions, we also sought diversity details in teaching faculty composition. However, the institute failed to provide the data on faculty diversity without proper justification. We prefer to file an appeal with the first appellate authority Dr Kalyan Kumar Bhattacharjee (Joint Registrar, IIT Delhi), to obtain the faculty diversity data. As per section 2 (j) (ii) of the RTI act 2005, each and every page of the RTI response must be duly attested. However, the institute failed to comply. None of the response pages were attested properly.  

Egalitarians condemns IIT Delhi for

  1. the improper implementation of the constitutionally mandated affirmative action policy in PhD admissions;
  2. deliberately not disclosing the caste and gender profile of the teaching faculty composition;
  3. poor compliance with the RTI act 2005.

We further urge the institute to comply with the minimal constitutional mandate and thereby uphold the social contract with the Indian society.

Appendix (Click here ➟ Links 1 & 2)

  1. The RTI application, dated 27th April 2021.
  2. The response from the IIT Delhi, dated 1st June 2021

Published by Egalitarians India

Egalitarians is a leaderless, voluntary, and not-for-profit group deeply committed to the principle of equality. We are a group of volunteers working with a common understanding for a common goal of creating a casteless egalitarian society.

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