New Delhi: The Union Cabinet in its last meeting before the general elections on Thursday approved an ordinance over reservation in faculty jobs in higher education. 

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to restore the 200-point roster for reservation, taking college or university as a unit for reservation in teaching posts.

Students' and teachers' bodies have have been increasingly demanding a restoration of the 200-point system. 

Earlier this week, human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar said the Centre was committed to restoring the 200-point reservation roster in education institutions following a series of protests over the issue by various students' and teachers' organisations.

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) had announced in March last year that an individual department should be considered as the base unit to calculate the number of teaching posts to be reserved for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes candidates, following an order by the Allahabad high court in April 2017.

The Supreme Court had dismissed a special leave petition filed by the HRD ministry against the imposition of 13-point roster system.

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Javadekar had said in the Lok Sabha on February 11 that the government can "bring an ordinance if its review petition filed in the top court is rejected".

Under the earlier proposed 13-point system, the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth posts in faculty jobs in higher education in a particular department were unreserved, while the fourth vacancy was reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBCs), the seventh for SCs, the 14th for STs and the eighth and 12th for OBCs. The ninth, 10th and 11th were unreserved.

However, the SC/STs complained of disparity in the number of reserved seats, especially when the size of departments were small. Also there would be no reservation in departments in which less than four teaching positions were available. Moreover, if the number of seats in a department were more than 14, it became hard to ensure reservation to all SC/ST/OBC posts. 

Under the 200-point system, out of 200 teaching posts in a college, 99 would be reserved for SCs, STs and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). In case there was a shortfall in reserved seats in one department, more people from reserved communities could be employed in other departments. There will be no change in the seats reserved for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. 

With PTI inputs