Egalitarians, on 9th June 2021, approached the Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu (IIT Jammu) seeking caste and gender diversity details in PhD admissions and teaching faculty composition, under the Right to Information (RTI) act 2005 (a copy of the RTI application is attached herewith). The response was received on 23rd June 2021 (a copy of the response is also attached herewith).
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 85 students enrolled for PhD at the IIT Jammu, the STs, SCs, OBCs and EWSs were 1.18%, 8.24%, 18.82%, and 10.59% 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 Jammu’s tacit complicity in following the constitutional mandate.
The institute does not fare any better in terms of gender diversity too. In the academic session 2020-21, of the total 85 candidates who have enrolled for PhD, 25 are female – that is 29.4% (the respective gender diversity figures in PhD admission for 2018-19 and 2019-20 are given in Table 2).
In the academic year 2020-21, of the total 9 departments with Ph.D students, 8 departments (88.89%) have zero ST candidates, 3 departments (33.33%) have zero SC candidates, 3 departments (33.33%) have zero OBC candidates (for the diversity deficiency in 2018-19 & 2019-20 sessions, see Table 3) at the institute. Also in the academic year 2019-20 and 2018-19, the number of departments with Zero-Female candidates were 3 and 4 respectively.
Diversity in PhD admissions is crucial as it serves as a faculty-pool (in future) for breaking social homogeneity.
Besides diversity in PhD admissions, we also sought diversity details in teaching faculty composition. When it comes to faculty diversity, the picture is far more distorted. Of the total 84 faculties, only one faculty (1.19%) belong to the ST community, one (1.19%) belong to the SC community, 16 (19.04%) are from the OBC community, while 78.57% of the faculty are from the General category (see Table 4 for cadre wise breakage).
Of the total 10 departments with 84 teaching faculties, there are no ST faculties at the level of Professor and Associate Professor, while there is only one Assistant Professor from ST. So is the case with the Scheduled castes category also. Further, there are no OBC faculty at the level of Professor in any department while there are 9 departments with Zero OBC Faculty at the level of Associate Professor and 3 departments at the level of Assistant Professor (Table 5).
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 Jammu for
- the improper implementation of the constitutionally mandated affirmative action policy in PhD admissions and Faculty recruitment;
- deliberately not disclosing the gender profile of the teaching faculty composition;
- 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)
- The RTI application, dated 09th June 2021.
- The response from the IIT Jammu, dated 23rd June 2021.