Even as Mumbai university’s (MU) vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar’s appointment is under scrutiny over his lack of qualifications to hold the post, answers to a Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed that close to 35 principals of 183 aided colleges appointed from April 2012 to April 2015 lack qualification and are ineligible for their posts. The list of colleges with ‘ineligible’ principals included many popular colleges in Mumbai.
Mumbai university said that in many cases where the principals did not have PhDs — one of the requirements for the post — the appointments were made before the new rules came into force.
MA Khan, registrar of MU said that if there are any principals without PhDs who have been appointed before the rule was passed, they are in the ‘unapproved’ category, but can continue their tenure.
“Sometimes the notification from the governments regarding new rules comes late. Hence, there may have been some appointments without PhDs,” said Khan.
The RTI filed by Snehal Donde, a principal of a college in Wada, Thane, inquired about the process of selection of principals and their Academic Performance Indicator (API). API is a crucial factor for appointment of principals and a score of 400 and above is required to be considered for the post.
“Some people seem to have forged their research material and also their qualification. Such people are now principals,” said Donde. Moreover, around 45 principals appointed since April 2000 do not have PhDs, which is a prerequisite for any appointments after April 4, 2000 as per a government circular.
The circular also mentions that candidates can get an exemption from the PhD compulsion under special circumstances from the University Grants Commission. However, the RTI has also revealed that no exemption for any such appointments has been sought till date. According to MS Kurhade, former registrar of MU and a past member of the selection committee for principals, the API rules are followed as per UGC guidelines drafted on June 28, 2010. “The format is fixed and I have not come across any norms that have been flouted during appointments,” he said.
The director of a popular college that figures in the list of institutions with ‘ineligible’ principals said that they have not flouted any rules. “Principals for years have been appointed after scrutiny and proper credentials.”