Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday reiterated the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government’s commitment to the 200-point roster system for faculty reservation in universities, ANI reported.

The Supreme Court in January upheld an Allahabad High Court ruling that reservation in faculty posts in universities should be applied department-wise and not by treating the university as one unit. The University Grants Commission’s new “13-point roster system” introduced in March meant that jobs for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes would reduce.

Javadekar said the central government had filed a review petition against setting up a department-wise roster, which had been dismissed by the top court. “The government stands for societal justice, it favours the 200-point roster,” he said. “Reservation should be given considering a university as one whole unit, and not in a department-wise manner.”

The Supreme Court had said that since teaching posts in different departments were not inter-changeable, the university cannot be treated as a unit while reserving posts.

Javadekar assured protestors that the department-wise roster would not be applied. “I had promised in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha that if our review petition is turned down, we will take whatever legal options are available to us,” he said, appealing to protestors to wait for two more days. “You will get justice in two days, I can assure you that.”

Javadekar’s statement came amid calls for a nationwide bandh by Adivasi rights organisations on Tuesday. Dalit rights groups will also take part in the strike, demanding that the department-wise recruitment system in universities be nullified. They have demanded the promulgation of an ordinance that will overturn the 13-point roster system.

There have been demands from the Opposition parties to restore the “200-point roster system” for recruitment as well. Congress President Rahul Gandhi last month wrote to Javadekar, urging him to revert to the earlier roster system. Gandhi had said that the adoption of the 13-point roster system had “severely eroded the spirit of reservation” guaranteed under the Constitution.