Union govt seeks details of special posts exempted from reservation

Five days after the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea by the Centre to reverse its decision disallowing quota in scientific technical posts, the Centre has now decided to review the list of such posts where reservation does not apply.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on Tuesday asked all the ministries and departments to identify scientific and technical posts, which are presently out of the quota regime, and intimate about it by February 15.

The move came after the Supreme Court on January 16 refused to review its decision to disallow reservation in faculty positions in AIIMS and other institutes offering speciality and super-speciality courses. The court, however, said it would examine the matter if the government takes such a decision and is challenged before it.

The apex court, in July, dismissed a petition seeking to introduce quota for promotion in senior positions, which were earlier exempted from it through an order in 1975 and subsequently upheld in Mandal Commission case. The Centre had questioned the apex court decision saying that it went against the mandate of the Mandal judgment, which did not prohibit reservation of posts in any particular service or posts or hierarchy and left it to the government to formulate its policy.

In the Office Memorandum issued on Tuesday, the DoPT said the 1975 government order has stated scientific and technical posts required for conducting research or for organising, guiding and directing research can be exempted from the purview of the orders relating to reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

It said the Supreme Court judgment on July 18, 2013 had impressed upon the Central and the state governments to take appropriate steps in accordance with the views expressed in Indra Sawhney’s (Mandal) case.

The court had observed that there were “certain services and posts where either on account of the nature of duties attached to them or the level in the hierarchy at which they stood, merit alone counts and in such situations, it cannot be advised to provide for reservation”.

“Keeping in view of the aforesaid judgment of the Supreme Court, it has been decided to identify all such Scientific and Technical posts in each Ministry/Department,” it said. 

The issue of dealing with scientific and technical posts have been debated in the government at least from December 1960 when a Committee of Secretaries decided that relaxation on retirement age must be given for experts owing to shortage of such people in service.

In 1963, it was decided that such posts can be exempted from the purview reservations and a review was conducted in 1975 to include certain level of officers under the ambit of the quota.

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