EDUCATIONAL SAFEGUARDS

The importance of educational development of the weaker sections of the society was recognised many decades ago by the Government of India and extended incentives and concessions to the Depressed Classes- (now SCs and STs) vide the Government of India Act, 1935. After independence and on the adoption of the Constitution, safeguards were built into the administrative system through special provi- sions incorporated in the Constitution.

3.2 The Articles which contain educational safeguards for SC & ST are 29(1), 46, 15(4), and 350 A. Of these Arti- cles 15(4) and 46 are more important in so far as educatio- nal development is concerned. Article 46 included among the Directive Principles of State Policy provides that the "State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and particularly of those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and from all forms of exploitation". This article did not give any power to the Government to take or adopt any specific measure for educational development of Sche - duled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Article 15 of the Cons- titution was, therefore, amended through the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951 and Clause 4 added to it Article 15(4). This empowered the State to make special provisions for the educational development of SC & ST and as a result the Government reserved seats for SC & ST in educational institutions including technical and profess- ional institutions like medical and engineering colleges.

3.3 In response to the special obligation placed on the Government of India by Article 15(4) of the Constitution to make special provisions, the then Ministry of Education (now Ministry of Human Resource Development) for the first time addressed letter on 23-11-1954 to the Chief Secretaries of all the State Governments suggesting that 20% seats should be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in educational institutions with a provision of 5% relaxation in minimum qualifying marks for admission wherever required. This was slightly modified in April, 1964, where a distinct percentage of 15% for Scheduled Castes, and 5% for Scheduled Tribes was laid down and was also made interchangeable. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also came forward and separately issued letters to the Vice-Chancellors of the Universities having Medical Faculties to reserve 15% seats for Scheduled Castes and 5% for Scheduled Tribes with 5% relaxation in minimum qua- lifying marks for admission to all post-graduate medical and Dental colleges.

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3.4 The University Grants Commission had also issued guidelines to the Universities and colleges under their respective control to ensure that the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students were allowed due concession in the matter of admission in all under graduate as well as post-graduate courses in the various streams. The percentage of reservation for Scheduled Tribes was revised upwards from 5% to 7.5% in 1982.

3.5 At present the following percentage are allowed for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students in admi- ssion to the various undergraduate and post-graduate courses of general; technical, medical and other professional education in the Universities and colleges:

Scheduled Castes : 15%

Scheduled Tribes : 7 1/2%

Reservation. for SC & ST is also available in the allotment of seats in general hostels.

3.6 in addition to the above safeguards for admission in educational institutions and allotment of seats in gene- ral hostels, the Central and State Governments have initia- ted a number of other measures like award of various types of scholarships/stipends/opening of book banks for engin- eering and medical students, mid-day meals, books, station- ery and uniforms etc., (for primary school students) for development of education among the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

GIRLS' HOSTELS FOR SC & ST

3.7 This scheme was started in the Third Five Year Plan with the intention to enable SC/ST girls students to pursue education at pre-matric and post-matric levels even at places away from their homes which they otherwise would not have been able to do for want of accommodation. This centrally spon- sored scheme is implemented on 50:50 basis (100% in other UTs) for construction of hostel buildings, extension of existing hostels for SC/ST girls studying in middle and higher levels of education. Central assistance is also provided to the voluntary organisations Non-Govt./Private organisations only for the extension of hostels Provided the organisation is willing to cover 10% of the total ex- penditure and remaining 90% in such cases is shareable between the Central and State Govts. on 50:50 basis. The States/UTs have been permitted to utilise special central assistance to SCP for the repair and upkeep of the hostels. it is encouraging to note that costwise ceiling on the cost of construction of hostels have been removed w.e.f. the year 1994-95. Now the cost of construction is to be worked out on the basis of States/UTs PWD rates. The cost shall be worked out on the basis of the rates whichever is lower. In the capacity of 100 inmates, 10% of the seats are to be reserved for non-SC/ST students. Out of the VIII

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Plan allocation of Rs.26.00 crores for hostels for SC girls an amount of Rs.6.00 crores was released to States/UTs for construction of 213 hostels with an inmate capacity of 19452. Similarly in case of ST girls hostels an amount of Rs.2.64 crores was released during 1993-94 for 52 hostels. It has been observed that in many cases the hostels are built at distant or inconvenient places. Proper location in the case of girls' hostels, is essential if we want to increase low occupancy. There are general complaints in the upkeep of these hostels. The maintenance of the hostels is the responsibility of the concerned States/UTs. They should make adequate provisions in the budget. This would, also help in checking the high drop-out rate among SC/ST women.

BOYS HOSTELS FOR SC & ST

3.8 This centrally sponsored scheme started in 1989-90 is implemented on the same pattern as that of girls hostels mentioned earlier. Under the scheme of boys hostels- for SC an amount of Rs.6.50 crores was released during 1993-94 to States/UTs to construct 101. hostels for 7020 inmates. According to the available information the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have shown keen interest in implementation of the scheme. The States like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where literacy rate among SC is quite low should make full use of this scheme. Similarly an amount of Rs.2.70 crores was released under the scheme of Boys Hostels for ST during 1993-94 for 53 hostels to accommodate 2631 students.

ASHRAM SCHOOLS IN TSP AREA

3.9 Under this centrally sponsored scheme assistance is provided to the State Govts. On 50:50 sharing basis for construction of Ashram Schools, buildings, hostels and staff quarters. Expenditure on maintenance has to be met by the State Govts. from its own resources. For the UT Administrations the assistance is cent percent except for the maintenance which is the responsibility of the concerned UT Administration. The Scheme cover primary, secondary and senior secondary levels of education. During 1993-94 an amount of Rs.2.52 crores was sanctioned to Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh for 64 including 41 second phase const- ruction. This is a very useful scheme so far as educational development of Scheduled Tribes at primary, secondary and senior secondary level is concerned. All the concerned State/UT Administrations should come forward, and take full advantage of this scheme.

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NATIONAL OVERSEAS SCHOLARSHIP FOR SC, ST AND OTHER STUDENTS AND PASSAGE GRANTS FOR HIGHER STUDIES ABROAD

3.10 Scholarships under this scheme are provided to meritorious SC/ST, Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic tribes, SC converts to other religion and the children of landless Agricultural Labourers/Traditional Artisans for advanced degree and post-doctoral studies abroad. Passage grants are also provided to students who are in receipt of a merit scholarship from a foreign Government or institution, in case such scholarships does not include the costs of passage. 30 National overseas scholarships and 9 passage grants are available each year. During the year 1993-94, 30 candidates were awarded scholarships, A total of 479 awardees had, so far, availed of the scho- larship since inception of the scheme in 1954-55. An expen- diture of Rs.260 lakhs was incurred in 1993-94.

UPGRADATION OF MERIT OF SC/ST STUDENTS

3.11 In the past several guidelines had been issued from time to time by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to all the Universities and State Govts. to reserve 15% and 7.5% seats in all educational and technical institutions for the SC & ST respectively. It has been our past expe- rience that inspite of several efforts the representations of SC/ST in various technical/institutions had been very low. Keeping in view their deficiencies in these courses a scheme of upgradation of merit of SC/ST students was started in 1987-88 in the Ministry of Human Resource Deve- lopment (Deptt. of Education). This scheme was transferred to the Ministry of Welfare in the middle of 1993-94. Those students who are selected under this scheme are provided extra coaching both remedial and special with a view to remove their social and educational deficiencies. They are placed in good residential schools where funds are provided for their coaching for a period of 4 years from class IX to Class XII. Remedial coaching is provided in the subjects viz. language, Maths, and Science whereas the special coaching is provided as per the requirement and competences to be attained by the student for passing the entry examination conducted by various professional insti- tutions. Special coaching is provided by the experts while remedial coaching is given after school hours and continue throughout the stay of the student in the selected schools (Class IX to XII). To begin with it was proposed to cover 1000 students (670 SCs and 330 STs) under the scheme in 54 schools. The scheme is funded on 100% basis by the Central Govt. The out-lay for VIII Plan under the scheme is, Rs.2.60 crores. In the year 1993-94 only five states viz., Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan availed of the grant under the scheme. The total grant released to these states during 1993-94 was 0.15 crores to benefit 334 SC/ST students against the out- lay of Rs. 0.55 crores. This is a very good scheme and states should make full use of the grants. The reasons for slow

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progress of the scheme may be due to the fact that the honorarium to the teachers and experts was fixed under the scheme in the year 1987-88 which is not adequate now. Similarly the rates of grants to meet the cost on books, stationery and fees boarding charges and pocket money was also inadequate. The Ministry of Welfare should consider the desirability of reviewing this scheme so that intake of SC/ST may be increased in the professional and technical courses.

ADMISSIONS OF SC/ST IN HIGHER EDUCATION WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO CENTRAL UNIVERSITIES

3.12 It is a Constitutional obligation that the provisions of reservation for SC/ST as embodied in the Constitution of India and the policy of the Government of India framed in this regard from time to time for the upliftment of these communities is followed in the field of higher educa- tion also. With a view to meeting this requirement the UGC which is an apex body had been bringing to the notice of the University Colleges and the State Govts. the guide- lines of the Government of India regarding reservation for SC/ST in the matter of Universities and Colleges. The UGC was set up in 1956 by an Act of Parliament for the promotion of University Education and determination and maintenance of standards in teaching, examination and re- search. This was necessary as the Constitution of India envisages that coordination of higher education is a cen- tral responsibility. The UGC functions as per provisions contained in its Act (UGC, Act 1956) and rules regulations framed as per the provisions in the Act.

3.13 In order to bring SC/ST to the main stream of life and see that they also get proper representation in differ- ent courses of higher education being provided by the Colleges/Universities including Central Universities UGC has been contributing towards social equity and uplift- ment of the underprivileged sections of society through special schemes as well as specific provisions for these sections within regular schemes.

3.14 Different percentage of reservations have been fixed for SC/ST in the Universities of different States in accor- dance with the percentages of SC/ST population to the total population of that state. The broad principal is that the reservation percentage for SC/ST should not be less than their population percentage. In the case of Central Univer- sities, the percentage of reservation is 15% for SC and 7.596 for ST. It is implied that all reserved seats accord- ing to the percentage of reservation fixed should be filled up. There had been ample of guidelines issued by the UGC by following which it would have been possible to fulfill reservation. However to put the matter on still clearer and firmer basis the UGC issued revised guidelines for full implementation of reservation in admission. These guidelines were issued by the Additional Secretary vide

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his d.o. letter F-8-1093(SCT) dated 15th June, 1993 to fully cooperate and help in bringing about complete success- in implementation of reservation policy in the Universities. The revised guidelines are quite comprehensive and if im- plemented properly, would go a long way in fulfilling the aspirations of the SC/ST to get higher education in differ- ent streams.

3.15 In order to look at the actual representation of SC & ST students in different courses in the Central Univer- sities, efforts were made to collect information from the UGC. The information pertains to six faculties i.e. Humanities and Social Sciences, Science including Agricul- tural Sciences, Engineering Technology, Medical Sciences, Professional Courses other than Medical and Engineering Technology and other Courses for the year 1992-93. The information tabulated -and given at Table 1 gives a very dismal picture of the representations of SC & ST students in the above mentioned courses. Coursewise breakup in respect of Jamia Milia Islamia and Banaras Hindu University was not available and no information in respect of Indira Gandhi Open University was made available to the UGC. Based on the information made available by UGC it may be seen that representation of SCs in different courses ranged from 2.60% to 9.92% and in respect of STs it was 0.09% to 6.41%. Their representations is nowhere close to 15% and 7.5% as prescribed in case of Central Universities. This is a matter of serious concern and the concerned Universities, UGC and Ministry of Human Resources Development should try to find out the causes of poor representation of these communities in these cour- ses. As mentioned earlier we shall have to ensure that intake at primary, middle and secondary levels is increased and at the same time the dropout and wastage at these levels are checked, and those promising among these communities are picked up and placed in the public schools and they should be provided extra coaching from lower levels so that they may compete with other students and their repre- sentation may also increase in different courses. As men- tioned earlier the Centrally Sponsored scheme of upgrada- tion of merit of SC/ST should be fully exploited in this regard. Besides the above mentioned scheme the concerned Universities should also ensure that remedial courses meant for SC/ST students are regularly continued and those uni- versities which have not started these courses should start without any further loss of time.

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                                                                                 Table 1
                                                    STATEMENT SHOWING REPRESENTATION OF SC/ST IN ADMISSIONS
                                                    TO VARIOUS COURSES IN UNIVERSITY TEACHING DEPARTMENTS
                                                    OF CENTRAL UNIVERSITIES DURING THE ACADEMIC YEAR 1992-93
        
                                                               
%age to S.No. Name of the University Total number SC % ST % SC/ST total and courses admitted including SC/ST number
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1. Aligarh Muslim Uniersity _ (i) Humanities and Social 2637 44 1.67 - - 44 1.67 Sciences (ii) Sciences Including 2244 20 0.89 - - 20 0.89 Agri. Sciences (iii) Engineering Technology 958 11 1.15 - - 11 1.15 (iv) Medical Science 419 Break up not available (V) Professional Courses 367 - - - - - - other than Medical and Engg./Technology (vi) Other Courses 969 17 1.75 - - 17 1.75 2. Banaras Hindu University (i) Humanities and Social Break up not available Science (ii) sciences including Break up not available Agri. Sciences (iii) Engineering Technology Break up not available (iv) Medical Science Brook up not available (v) Professional Courses Break up not available other than Medical and Engg./Technology (vi) Other Courses Break up not available 3. J.M.I., Okhla New_Delhi (i) Humanities and Social Break up not available Science (ii) Sciences including Break up not available Agri. Sciences (ill) Engineering Technology Brook up not available (iv) Medical Science Break up not available (v) Professional Courses Brook up not available other then Medical and Engg/Technology (vi) Other Courses Brook up not available 4. J.N.U., New Delhi (i) Humanities and Social 3224 351 10.89 135 4.19 486 15.07 Science (ii) Sciences Including 465 47 10.11 10 2.15 57 12.26 Agri. Sciences (iii) Engineering Technology No such course (iv) Medical Science No such course (v) Professional Courses No such course other than Medical and Engg./Technology (vi) Other Courses No such course

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
5. NEHU University, Shillong (i) Humanities and Social 2600 18 0.69 2008 77.23 2026 77.92 Science (ii) sciences including 531 15 2.82 209 39.36 224 42.18 Agri. Sciences - NIL - (iii) Engineering Technology (iv) Medical Science - NIL - (v) Professional Courses - NIL - other then Medical and Engg./Technology (vi) Other Courses - NIL - 6. Pondicherry University (i) Humanities and Social 91 6 6.59 6 6.59 Science (ii) Sciences including 116 17 14.66 1 0.86 18 15.52 Agri, Sciences (iii) Engineering Technology No such course (iv) Medical Science No such course (v) Professional Courses 59 7 11.86 1 1.69 8 13.56 other than Medical and Engg./Technology (VI) Other Courses 107 11 10.28 1 0.93 12 11.21 7. University or_Delhi (i) Humanities and Social 30864 3458 11.20 417 1.35 3875 12.55 Science (ii) Sciences including 6990 495 7.08 63 0.90 558 7.98 Agri. Sciences Engineering Technology 640 72 11.25 15 2.34 87 13.59 (iv) Medical Science SIB 64 12.36 32 6.18 96 18.53 (v) Professional Courses 2350 366 15.57 57 2.43 423 18.00 other then Medical and Engg./Technology (vi) Other Courses - NIL - 8. University or Hyderabad (i) Humanities and Social 542 90 16.61 20 3.69 110 20.30 Science (ii) Sciences including 302 48 15.89 5 1.66 53 17.55 Agri. Sciences (iii) Engineering Technology 50 8 16.00 4 8.00 12 24.00 (iv) Medical Science No such course (v) Professional Courses No Faculty other than Medical and Engg./Technology (vi) Other' Courses No faculty 9. Visva Bharti University (i) Humanities and Social 420 37 8.31 8 1.90 45 10.71 Science (ii) Sciences Including 283 43 15.19 5 1.77 48 16.96 Agri. Sciences (iii) Engineering Technology No such course (iv) medical Science No such course (v) Professional Courses 404 47 11.63 4 0.99 51 12.52 other than Medical and Engg./Technology (Vi) Other Courses Total (i)Humanities and social 40378 4004 9.92 2588 6.41 6592 16.33 Science (ii)Sciences including 10931 685 6.27 293 2.68 976 8.95 Agri. Sciences (iii)Engineering Technology 1648 91 5.52 19 1.15 110 6.67 iv)Medical Science 937 64 6.83 32 3.42 96 10.25 (v) Professional Courses 3180 420 13.21 62 1.95 482 15.16 other than Medical and Engg./Technology (vi) Other Courses 1076 28 2.60 1 0.09 29 2.70 Notes Excluding Indira Gandhi open University.

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COMPLAINTS RECEIVED IN THE COMMISSION

3.16 During the year under report 108 complaints/repre- sentations relating to various educational matters were received in the Commission's Headquarters. Twenty of these representations were filed because these were addressed to authorities other than the Commission and only their copies were endorsed to the Commission. Action was taken in 78 cases while 10 were filed as on examination it was found that those cases did not merit any intervention by the Commission. The latter did not prima facie contain violation of any safeguards or rights but related to such matters as request for holding a technical workshop on work culture, alleged conspiracy of invigilators of an examination centre to falsely implicate an SC student for using unfair means, allegations of corruption against a Deputy Inspector of Schools of Itawa in UP, request for opening a school in a village in UP, introducing identical syllabus in all schools, refund of tution fee from the school of Correspondence Courses in Delhi, request for holding a State level workshop on research priorities in the field of Human Resources Development in Rajasthan, request for only one time requirement to produce a caste certificate at the time of first admission in school etc.

3.17 Inspite of the best intentions of Government at the Centre and the States to provide a number of safeguards both Constitutional and otherwise, to bring about rapid educational development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, there have been allegations of intentional depri- vation, non-implementation of various measures and viola- tion of safeguards by the concerned implementing authorities at various levels. This Commission has been receiving com- plaints and representations from individuals as well as associations/organisations relating to alleged violation of various safeguards. During the year under report 1.10 complaints/representations relating to various educational matters were received in the Commission's headquarter.

3.18 Broad Category of cases are as follows.

                                                Table 2
                                                               
S.No. Subject Matter No. of cases
1 2 3
1. Denial of admission in schools and 17 colleges of general education 2. Denial of admission in professional 24 colleges/courses like medical, engineering and others 3. Non payment of stipends/scholarships 6