Roster system row: Govt hints ordinance

Roster system row: Govt hints ordinance

The government on Friday told Rajya Sabha that it will bring a bill or ordinance to ensure that SCs, STs and OBCs do not lose out while filling teachers' vacancies in universities in case its petition does not find favour with the Supreme Court.

Till then, it said, no vacancies will be filled under the new roster system.

This was disclosed by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar in Rajya Sabha, which witnessed protest by SP, BSP, RJD, AAP and Left MPs in the past two days leading to disruption of the House.

MPs Javed Ali Khan (SP), D Raja (CPI), Misa Bharti and Manoj K Jha (RJD) and Sanjay Singh (AAP) among others had given the notice to suspend the business of the House the discuss the issue but was not allowed after Javadekar's assurances.

However, the House could not function as Congress MPs were on their feet protesting against the new revelations in Rafale deal. The House was adjourned for the day within six minutes of its sitting started due to the protests.

Till Thursday, the government had said it will file a review petition and was keeping silent on the demand on legislative recourse. 

The Opposition MPs were of the view that review petition would take a long time and already filling of vacancies were taking place to the disadvantage of candidates from SCs, STs and OBCs.

While SP, BSP and RJD were raising the pitch on the issue after their core constituency of Dalits and OBCs found fault with the system, BJP was reluctant to challenge the roster arrangement fearing a backlash from upper castes.

However, pressure from within a section of BJP as well as Opposition prompted the government to look at legislative options. Opposition MPs are not fully satisfied with the assurance though they admit the government has tempered down its stand.

"They say they will see how its petition fares and then look at options of the ordinance or a bill. But when will it happen? In less than a month, elections will be declared and the Model Code of Conduct will be put in place. So we are not sure when will they bring. Questions are there still," a senior Opposition MP said.