Congress alleges that withdrawn draft UGC guidelines was “conspiracy” to end reservation for SCs, STs, and OBCs

Mr. Gandhi asserted that the new draft of the UGC is a conspiracy to end the reservation given to SC, ST, and OBC categories in higher education institutions

January 29, 2024 10:13 pm | Updated 10:35 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a public meeting during Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, in Kishanganj, Bihar on January 29, 2024

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a public meeting during Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, in Kishanganj, Bihar on January 29, 2024 | Photo Credit: ANI

The Congress on January 29 demanded the resignation of University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar over the now withdrawn draft guidelines for de-reservation of posts in higher education for scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (STs) and other backward classes (OBCs). Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), called it a conspiracy to end reservations for SCs, STs, and OBCs.

Mr. Gandhi’s post was contrasted with the ‘clarification’ from Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan that not a single post would be de-reserved. “There is no scope for ambiguity about reservations after the introduction of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019,” Mr. Pradhan had added.

“In the new draft of the UGC, there is a conspiracy to end the reservation given to SC, ST and OBC categories in higher education institutions. Today, out of approximately 7,000 reserved posts in 45 Central universities, 3,000 are vacant, and of which only 7.1% are Dalit, 1.6% are tribal and 4.5% are backward class professors. The BJP-RSS, which have even talked about reviewing reservation, now want to snatch the jobs of the deprived classes from such higher education institutions,” the former Congress chief alleged.

“This is an attempt to kill the dreams of the heroes who have fought for social justice and to eliminate the participation of the deprived sections. This is difference between the ‘politics of symbolism’ and ‘real justice’ and is reflected in character of the BJP,” Mr. Gandhi added.

Addressing a joint press conference with the Congress’ SC department chief Rajesh Lilothia, former Lok Sabha member, Udit Raj, who now heads Unorganised Workers and Employees, said that the UGC was forced to withdraw the draft guidelines after the Congress party protested the “anti-people” move.

“The UGC move has substantiated our apprehension on what [RSS chief] Mohan Bhagwat and the RSS intended. There is no justification to say that eligible candidates are not available. It has been in vogue since long to say that candidates are not found suitable,” he said.

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