ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Against Ageism in Academic Appointments

This is a note against the practice of age bar for entry into academic positions prevalent in many state-funded universities and academic institutions in the country. Besides being legally unsustainable, the practice is also socially unacceptable and an unreasonable entry barrier.

The practice of age bar, in turn, brings in discrimination on the basis of gender, caste and region which are in violation of our fundamental rights. The age-ceiling based restraint at entry point is particularly prejudicial and is discriminatory towards women candidates whose participation in “outside work” is determined by their life cycle. A bright woman academician who wants to make a re-entry into academics after having a couple of children would find the age bar a greatly disabling factor. The stipulation of an age limit also gives rise to caste discrimination in cases where it does not specify a usual age relaxation for scheduled castes/scheduled tribes and Other Backward Classes. Moreover, the non-fulfilment of reservations continues to remain a sore issue in many state-funded academic institutions in the country even to this day. The practice of age bar also brings along discrimination on the basis of region. It goes against the fundamental right to freedom of employment anywhere in the country (Article 19e, g), and thereby increases the trend towards parochialism. As already clarified, age bar for entry into academic positions in state-funded institutions is in violation of the constitutional provisions against non-discrimination under Articles 15(1), 16(2) and 16(1).

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