UGC to withhold grants if 21 Delhi University colleges don’t appoint principals
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UGC to withhold grants if 21 Delhi University colleges don’t appoint principals

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has warned 21 Delhi University (DU) colleges that it would withhold their grants if they do not appoint regular principals

delhi Updated: Aug 20, 2018 03:18 IST
The institutes include top colleges such as the Hindu College, Jesus and Mary College, Kamala Nehru College and Gargi College, a UGC official said.(HT File Photo)

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has warned 21 Delhi University (DU) colleges that it would withhold their grants if they do not appoint regular principals. The institutes include top colleges such as the Hindu College, Jesus and Mary College, Kamala Nehru College and Gargi College, a UGC official said. The Hindu College has been without a regular principal since 2012. The other colleges have had acting heads for eight years or more.

Officials said the funds are key for the day-to-day functioning of the colleges. They are used for holding seminars, college festivals and conferences. Permanent principals are responsible for long-term administrative decisions like the development of vision documents.

The specific details of the grants and what percentage of the funds would be frozen were immediately unavailable. The Delhi government, too, funds some of the DU’s 90 affiliated colleges. The commission, which is mandated to maintain higher education standards in the country, wrote a letter on August 13 to the colleges and the DU registrar, asking them to expedite the appointment process.

“It is once again requested to expedite the process of the selection of a full-time regular (principal) in your college. Further, you are hereby requested to inform the date of interview for the post of principals latest by 31 August 2018, failing which the UGC will be constrained to withhold the release of grants,” reads the letter.

The Human Resource Development ministry had earlier directed the commission to act against the colleges, which have not made the appointments despite instructions from the President’s office. The President is the DU’s visitor or overseer.

The President’s office had earlier expressed concern that acting heads had been running the colleges for years.

“As per the latest update, it has been noticed that many colleges have not complied with the directives of MHRD/UGC to appoint regular principals. In most of the colleges, interviews have not been held even at the level of the respective governing bodies. This shows a lack of commitment on the part of college authorities for strengthening the administrative and academic atmosphere in their colleges,” reads the letter.

The Hindu College’s governing body said it will complete the process soon. “We have called a meeting of the select committee on August 25 and we will make the recommendation about the principal on that day. We will send it to the Delhi University for approval,” said Hindu College governing body chairman Satya Narain Prakash Punj.

Officials at a number of other colleges claimed that the process for appointments was on without agreeing to speak on the record. They were hoping to complete the process on time.

Another HRD official said the ministry and the colleges had earlier agreed to complete the process by July 15. DU vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and registrar Tarun Kumar Das did not reply to text messages and phone calls for their views on the issue.

“We have been emphasizing this for quite some time in the interest of academic progress. However, despite giving several deadlines, they have not taken any concrete action. As these are all grant-in-aid colleges, the government expects better administration,” said a senior HRD official.

Former All India Council for Technical Education chairman S S Mantha said every college works on some basic principles and having a permanent leader is crucial. “For instance, ad hoc people may not always function to achieve goals because they would not know for how long they will be there,’’ he said. “...every institute has a vision. A person, who is given a fixed tenure of at least a few years, will be able to bring in certain changes that promote the vision of an institute and which will also help its growth.”

First Published: Aug 20, 2018 03:18 IST