Amendments to the Central Educational Institutions(Reservation in Admission)

                The Union Cabinet today approved certain amendments to Sections 2,3,4 and 5 of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission ) Act, 2006. The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) (Amendment ) Bill 2010 will be introduced in the coming session of Parliament.

             The proposed amendments to the Act aim at safeguarding interests of the tribal population in far-flung and remote areas of the North-Eastern States by providing a balance between the local policy at the State level and the national policy on reservation. The Amendments would ensure equity and inclusiveness and meet the regional aspirations.

           The Central Educational Institutions (CEIs) are facing certain practical difficulties in implementing the provisions of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act 2006. These difficulties emanate from the fact that their Statutes already provide for reservation of higher percentage than 15% of the seats for SCs or 7.5% of the seats for STs, owing to the composition of population served by it. In some cases the CEIs which were State Universities earlier, have adopted the norms followed by the respective State Governments which require them to reserve more than 7.5 per cent of seats for STs.

            In order to address these problems, the Government has now proposed to amend certain provisions of the Act.

These proposed amendments envisaged are as follows :

• State seats (viz. The seats earmarked to be filled from amongst the eligible students of State in which the Central Educational Institution is situated), if any, in a CEI situated in the tribal areas referred to in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution shall be governed by the reservation policy of the concerned State Government in the matter of admissions of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes to that CEI.

• If the seats reserved for Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes or both taken together in a CEI exceed 50% of the annual permitted strength, that CEI shall be exempt from making any reservation for the other Backward Classes. Further, if such a CEI is situated in the north-eastern States, including Sikkim but excluding the non-tribal areas of Assam, the percentage of seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes shall not be reduced from the level obtaining on the date immediately preceding the date of the commencement of the Act; while in case of CEI situated in other areas the percentage of seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes in that CEI shall stand reduced to 50%.

• If the seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes or both taken together in a CEI fall short of 50% of the annual permitted strength, the percentage of seats reserved for the Other Backward Classes shall be restricted to such shortfall.

• The period for giving effect to the provisions of sections 3,4 and 5 of the Act shall stand enhanced to six years from three years, as some of the CEIs are finding it difficult to adhere to the said time limit for creation of the requisite physical and academic infrastructure due to a variety of reasons beyond their control and have been requesting for the increase in the time limit.

• The number of seats in a branch of study or faculty in a CEI shall be increased with reference to the number of seats in that branch of study or faculty available for the academic session immediately preceding the date of the coming into force of this Act or with reference to the number of seats actually filled in that session, whichever be less, mainly with a view to avoiding wastage of resources.

Background :

           All the Central Educational Institutions ( other than those exempted under section 4 of the Act, ) are, presently, required to reserve 27% seats for the OBCs (excluding “creamy layer”), in addition to 15% seats for the SCs and 7.5 % seats for the STs as also to expand their capacity, over a maximum period of three years, from the academic session 2008-09. Difficulties experienced by some of the CEIs, particularly those situated in the north-eastern States inhabited significantly, in some cases predominantly, by tribal population, and Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, which has been reserving 50% seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in keeping with the objectives specified in their respective Acts have led to the amendments.

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