Members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Castes constitute just 6% of total faculty members across 18 Indian Institutes of Management, and 9% across the 23 Indian Institutes of Technology, The Print reported on Wednesday.

According to data submitted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Parliament in December, the IIMs had 784 sanctioned faculty posts. Of this two posts were filled by members of the Scheduled Tribes, eight from Scheduled Castes, and 27 members from the OBC category. Around 590 faculty posts were occupied by those from the general category, while the remaining were vacant.

Scheduled Tribes occupy only 21 faculty posts out of the 8,856 sanctioned faculty strength in the IITs, Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar told the Lok Sabha in response to a question on December 31, 2018. Scheduled Castes occupy 149 posts, while Other Backward Castes take up 329 posts, and 4,876 are from the general category across the 23 IITs.

Educational institutions are mandated to ensure 15% reservation for Scheduled Castes, 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes and 27% for OBCs in faculty positions. However, IITs and IIMs are allowed to hire from the general category if they do not find eligible candidates for the posts.

Of the 18 IIMs across the country, 16 did not have a single faculty member from the Scheduled Tribes and 12 did not have any faculty from Scheduled Castes. Of the 23 IITs, 15 had no faculty member belonging to the Scheduled Tribes at all.

An unidentified official of the Human Resource Development Ministry said IITs and IIMs hire faculty members from the SC, ST and OBC categories only at entry level. “They need to advertise for positions,” the official said. “If they don’t find suitable candidates, then they can take others.”

Dean of faculty at IIT Delhi, Sudipto Mukherjee, agreed there was a shortage of faculty from reserved category. Mukherjee said there were special drives to recruit more faculty members from the reserved categories.

“There is a shortage of faculty and we continue to have several vacancies at present,” Mukherjee said. “Though we have many applications with PhD, they do not seem to meet standards expected by the appointment authorities. I do not see any special problems in recruiting SC/ST faculty.”

A faculty member at IIT Kanpur said the pool of people from which faculty members are hired is small. “First of all there are very few PhDs anyway who are eligible, and among that pool, the number of reserved category candidates is even lesser,” the faculty member said, adding that IITs have stringent hiring norms.

The fewer number of faculty members from SC/ST and OBCs come amid concerns on the University Grant Commission’s new 13-point roster system which will cut the number of faculty posts reserved for SC, ST and OBCs. Under the previous 200-point system, teaching positions were reserved by treating the university as one unit. The new system will see reservation applied by department in universities.