No salaries for some aided colleges

Educational institutions without principals will not receive funds and staff salaries, according to a government resolution issued by Director of Education, Pune

Teachers and staff of 40 aided colleges across the city and a few hundred in the rest of the state are in a fix. They fear the government will soon stop issuing their salaries after a recent Government Resolution (GR) was passed in regard to colleges sans principals. The office of the Director of Education, Pune, has released three GRs and colleges have been informed that those who are yet to appoint principals will not receive funds, including staff salaries, from the government.

The University of Mumbai
The University of Mumbai has begun receiving fresh proposals from colleges for approval of interim principals. File photo

“Principals are the governing and disbursing authority of their college. With no principal in place, whom should we send the funds to? No one else is authorised to take up the responsibility, so we have no option but to stop the funds,” said Director of Higher Education, Pune, PR Gaikwad. “It’s as per the Maharashtra Universities Act,” he added.

According to the University of Mumbai, of the 183 aided colleges affiliated to the university, 40 colleges still don’t have principals. The number, added the University, is much higher across the state.

According to the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1996, an individual holding a PhD, and with a teaching experience of 10 years, is eligible to be college principal. The college management shortlists candidates for the post of principal, whose details are then sent to the varsity for approval. A committee of the varsity — comprising members from the management council, senate and various authorities — gives the approval.

Over the past couple of years, the office of the Director of Education has released a series of GRs to inform colleges about the 1996 act. Colleges, on the other hand, have come forth with repeated complaints about the lack of qualified applicants for the posts of principal.

The department claimed it had tweaked rules to accommodate the colleges’ issues.” The recent GR, for instance, clearly stated that in case managements have not found an appropriate candidate, they can have principals in-charge on an 11-month contractual basis to ensure there is a person in authority during the academic session,” explained Gaikwad.

He added that the GR also mentions that colleges are allowed to appoint their senior-most and most experienced professor as principal in-charge till they find an appropriate candidate. “Universities across the state have been informed in the past to approve such proposals and help solve this problem. Yet, many have not followed these rules. We have no option but to stop the flow of funds,” he added.

Meanwhile, the University of Mumbai has received proposals from colleges for the approval of in-charge principals. “We are in the process of checking the documents provided by the colleges as even in-charge principals need to have certain qualifications and experience. We will approve the same at the earliest,” said Leeladhar Bansod, PRO, University of Mumbai.

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