Few SC scientists in top Indian biotechnology institutions
An RTI researcher has found that SC/ST scientists are very few in the country's top biotechnology institutions, despite the mandated reservations
Scientists belonging to the scheduled castes [SC] and scheduled tribes [ST] are notably absent in the top biotechnology institutions in the country, a RTI [Right to Information] query has found. In the nine institutions, ranging from the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology to the National Centre for Cell Sciences, there are only 19 scientists from the SC-ST category. This information was collected by researcher Kumar under the RTI Act. All these are funded by the Science and Technology Department. According to government rules, 15% reservation for SCs and 7.5% for STs is mandated in these institutions.
The National Centre for Cell Sciences, Pune has the highest number of scientists from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Of the total 149 employees, five are from the SC category and two are from the ST category. The National Institute of Immunology, which has a staff of 208, has only two from the SC category as scientists.
The fact is that there are no SC / ST scientists in the Regional Centre for Biotechnology, Institute of Bio-Resources and Sustainable Development. Kumar said that despite the fact that 16 science and technology firms in the country have sought information through the RTI, only nine have received replies.
Biotechnology department secretary Renu Swarup said the lack of availability of scientists from the reserved categories of SC and ST was a problem faced by the Department of Science and Technology for some time. She said vacancies existed, but eligibility was a problem. In 2018, the Lok Sabha was informed that most of the seats reserved for the SC / ST category are vacant in the posts of Professor and Associate Professor in Central Universities. There are 193 vacancies in the Central Universities in the post of Professor and 395 in the rank of Associate Professor.
[Autotranslated from Malayalam]