In a first, varsities in Bihar retire college principals with ‘retrospective’ effect 

The retrospective retirements were affected as a new law governing universities, which mandates 62 years as the retirement age of the principals, came into force with ‘prospective effect’. 

india Updated: Sep 24, 2017 19:45 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar varsities,College principals,Retired retrospectively
The Patna university office in Patna. (HT representative image)

It may sound bizarre, but it is true. In the wake of a notification of the Bihar government, issued on Thursday, several college principals have been superannuated by their respective universities with effect from a back date, to coincide with the attainment of the retirement age of 62 of each principal.

This is perhaps the first time that such a thing has been done in the history of higher education in Bihar.

In the past couple of days, Magadh University (Bodh Gaya), Lalit Narayan Mithila University (Darbhanga), JP University (Chapra), Patna University, BN Mandal Unievrsity (Madhepura) Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University, BBA Bihar University have all issued notifications, retiring principals with ‘retrospective effects’.

In some cases, the ‘retrospective’ aspect of the retirement went back up to three years. The retrospective retirements were affected as a new law governing universities, which mandates 62 years as the retirement age of the principals came into force with ‘prospective effect’.

In most colleges, which have witnessed a change of guard, the universities have promptly appointed professors-in-charge to take over from retiring principals.

It is not clear how the retrospective retirements will pan out in the context of universities’ financial procedures as the principals have not only availed salary for several months of ‘post retirement’ period in which they were in office, but also signed files and issued orders during the period.

A few vice chancellors HT spoke to said that they had merely implemented the government notification of the new act. The affected principals, on the other hand, have decided to challenge their removal in court, on the plea that they were teachers first and should have been reverted back to teaching, instead of being retired.

Teachers have retirement age of 65 years.

The amended 2017 varsity acts provides for bringing principals back into the teaching fold once again, but this can be implemented with prospective effect. The previous amendment in 2012 had put the principals in non-teaching cadre, which had a retirement age of 62 years.

All the principals who attained the age of 62 in the 2012-2017 period could not get the benefit of 2017 act, even as they were allowed to continue in office beyond 62 years, in disregard of the 2012 act.

Dr Rakesh Verma, principal, Patna Law College, reached the age of 62 years on September 8, 2016 and should have retired as per the 2016 act. He continued in job till September 2017. Now, the university notification says he will be “deemed to have retired from that date”. PU had only one such case, as had JP University.

Similar notifications have been issued by other universities as well. In Magadh University, six principals have been retired with effect from a past date, having exceeded their retirement age by up to three years. Lalit Narayan Mishra University (LNMU) has retired six affected principals, while BNMU and TMBU have retired three each.

Three Patna colleges witness a change of guard

In College of Commerce, RK Mehra of the department of chemistry, has taken over the charge. Just a couple of days ago, he had won a legal battle to be appointed dean, students’ welfare, MU, following a Raj Bhawan direction. In Arvind Mahila College, Punam Chaudhary (deptt of history) has taken charge as professor in charge, while in Mahila College (Khagaul), Vibha Mishra (Sanskrit) has become the prof-in charge.

First Published: Sep 24, 2017 19:45 IST