The state government is going to ask the Supreme Court for another extension to fill vacant posts of principals in colleges across universities in the state.
The SC had set a deadline of December 31 for colleges to appoint principals but several colleges are yet to fill up the posts. In the city, reputed colleges such as Government Law College, CHM College, KC Law College and Sydenham College are still without full-time principals.
This is the third extension that the state government will seek. In 2008, the Bombay High Court had told universities to fill up vacant posts of principals.
Following this, the state government had issued a government resolution in 2009 asking colleges to fill up vacancies by March 31, 2009.
But managements appealed to the Supreme Court and got a year’s extension till May 31, 2010.
The deadline passed and again the SC gave another six-month extension to all colleges in the beginning of June.
“We will have to appeal to the apex court for another extension. We are attempting several solutions such as increasing the retirement age to 65, asking universities to open centres to help candidates pass the NET/SLET (the eligibility tests to become a lecturer) and encourage Ph.Ds,” said Rajesh Tope, the state higher and technical education minister.
After the last extension, around 1,870 principal posts are vacant across 13 universities in the state.
Of these approximately 250 vacancies are in colleges of the University of Mumbai. Universities of Pune, Nagpur, Amravati and Amarathwada also have about 200 posts for principals vacant in colleges. Sources said much has not changed since then.
The vacancies are mostly in unaided colleges, especially engineering and law colleges. There are approximately 1,700 vacancies in unaided colleges and 170 in government aided colleges.
One main issue, said experts, is the remuneration.
“After the sixth pay commission, there is a salary difference of Rs 3000 between a selection grade lecturer and a principal, so it is a lot more work with the same pay scale,” said K Venkatramani, former registrar of the Mumbai University.
Colleges also say that finding capable teachers with PhDs and requisite teaching experience is difficult.
Seema Shah, vice principal of Vidyalankar Institute of Technology, a private college in Wadala, is set to be the principal of her college, but the university has not given her a date for her PhD viva.
“I submitted my thesis in the beginning of the year, but there is no response on my viva date from the university so I still don’t have a Ph.D and the principal’s post is vacant,” said Shah.