PUNE: Approximately 52 per cent of the total posts of principals in colleges have been lying vacant since 2010 in Maharashtra. A similar situation prevails in the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU)-affiliated colleges as well, said an educationist.
However, on Monday, the State government gave its nod to fill all the vacant posts of principals in colleges and institutions. The State Higher and Technical Education Department has been directed to start the procedure soon.
Official records state that there are 1,171 government-aided colleges, which have 275 vacant positions, said Director of Higher Education (DHE) Dhanraj Mane. “It is now mandatory to fill all individual posts. So far, additional charge of the principal’s post of a college was given to the principal of another college. Hereafter, these additional charges have been removed,” said Mane.
“However, according to data provided by SPPU, there are 244 vacant posts of principals in 468 traditional colleges affiliated to the university alone. While there are 380 vacant posts in 413 professional colleges affiliated to the SPPU,” said MM Rathod, a senate member at the varsity and Principal of the Abasaheb Garware College of Commerce.
He had raised a query with the SPPU authorities during the last senate meeting held at SPPU. He had asked the senate how many posts of principals were lying vacant in the affiliated colleges.
“A principal is the head of a college. His is responsible for the administration and academics. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has made it mandatory to have a permanent principal. In this backdrop, it has been decided to open the recruitment procedure and fill the vacant positions of principals in the aided colleges. Also, it should be noted that after a principal completes his/her tenure of five years, another permanent principal should be appointed immediately,” reads the government resolution.
“For formulation and execution of new educational programmes, proper functioning of administration and academic work, it is necessary that a full time principal is available. Now that the government has lifted the ban on the recruitment of principals, the procedure to fill the posts will be accelerated in due course,” said Sanjay Kharat, Joint Secretary of the principals forum.
“Many colleges had temporary principals for almost eight years. For example, research centres in a college or promotion of professors and many other administration matters were not attended to in the absence of a permanent principal. This affected the students and faculty of a college,” said Rathod.
Also, it adversely affected the NAAC evaluation. One of the prerequisites is to have a permanent principal and the staff members, added Rathod.