HC notices to Centre, IIMA on PIL for quota in doctoral course

The Gujarat High Court today issued notices to the Centre and the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on a PIL seeking direction to the premier business school to provide reservation in admission for its doctoral programme.

A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi issued the notices on the PIL filed by the Global IIM Alumni Network, an unregistered body which has around 200 members.

In its petition, the network has sought direction to the IIM-A to provide reservation to SC/ST/OBC aspirants and persons with disabilities in its Fellow Programme in Management (FPM).

The notices are returnable by February 7.

In its petition, the alumni body said that while most of the IIMs are providing "mandatory reservations" for FPM, IIM-A has not done so despite the Union HRD Ministry and the petitioner writing to it.

Reservation for the under-represented communities has been sought as per the provisions of the Central Education Act and the PWD Act. This has been done on the ground that the newly-introduced IIM Act 2017 requires IIMs to provide quotas as per the Central Educational Institute (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, the network said.

Such reservations will "favour unrepresented and unprivileged candidates who seek to study management at higher levels and are equally qualified for the same", the petition said.

The IIM-A, in its advertisement for the FPM published last year, failed to include provisions of reservation for SCs /STs/OBCs and PWDs. The FPM was instituted by the IIM-A in 1971, and since then no reservation to unrepresented communities had been ever provided, it said.

"The Centre has also raised the issue with the IIMs. The secretary of higher education department, in April 2017, wrote to the IIMs to provide reservations in teaching posts.

"The Global IIM Alumni Network also wrote to the IIM-A Board of Directors about increasing diversity and inclusion of underrepresented communities at research and teaching levels," the petition said.

It said not providing reservation amounted to flouting Constitutional provisions.

"Admission procedure of the respondent institute is in gross violation of provisions of the Central Educational Institute (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006," it said.

According to the IIM-A website, the FPM is a doctoral programme that seeks to provide students with necessary skills to identify and research complex issues in the field of management.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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