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Hiring freeze by Maha: 22 Mumbai colleges will be left without principals

Institutes where principals have either completed their five-year term or will do so in the next few months may not get a full-time principal

mumbai Updated: Jan 02, 2018 23:30 IST
Musab Qazi
Musab Qazi
Hindustan Times
Two principals’ groups from Mumbai have requested the state to allow the colleges to hire new principals.
Two principals’ groups from Mumbai have requested the state to allow the colleges to hire new principals. (HT file )

Five colleges affiliated to the University of Mumbai (MU) are functioning without regular principals. The fate will soon be shared by 17 other colleges, as the institutes are unable to make new appointments owing to a diktat from the state.

According to sources, the Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) has withdrawn no-objection certificates (NOCs) issued to colleges for appointing new faculty members. It cited the government freeze on creating new posts and filling existing vacancies.

As a result, the colleges where principals have either completed their five-year term or will do so in the next few months are faced with the prospect of not having a full-time principal.

Two principals’ groups from Mumbai — University of Mumbai College Principals’ Association (UMCPA) and Association of Non-government Colleges (ANGC) — have requested the state to allow the colleges to hire new principals.

College principals in Maharashtra are appointed on a fixed five-year term, which is in accordance with the 2010 UGC regulation. Earlier, the principals could serve till their retirement. But the state adopted the new regulation in February 2011.

UMCPA president Siddheshwar Gadade said MU-affiliated colleges have 22 principals, who have reached the end of their tenure, including four or five principals who have already completed the five-year period, and are unable to seek reappointment.

Anil Patil, from JSM College, Alibaug, whose five-year term as principal ended on December 31. However, with the freeze on appointments, he is unable to apply for another government post.

“No college management is able to hire me [on a government post]. I have written to the principal secretary and higher education department, asking for a solution,” he said.

Kavita Rege, whose term as principal at Sathaye College, Vile Parle, ended last year, moved Bombay high court. Rege said she worked as principal since 2001 and was reappointed in 2012. She claimed the appointment letter issued by the MU didn’t make any mention of the fixed term. However, the court upheld Rege’s exit from the post after completion of her five-year term.

“There’s a bit of misunderstanding. No one was aware of the UGC regulation. Our service conditions didn’t mention the fixed term. I think my exit is unfair,” she said.

While principals want the hiring freeze to be lifted, they also want their tenure to be doubled .

“Five years is small tenure. The principals need at least two years to get acquainted with their colleges,” said TA Shiware, chairperson, ANGC.

Financial stability

To bring financial stability by curbing expenditure on government employees, the Maharashtra government put a freeze on creating new posts and filling existing vacancies in 2015. A government resolution (GR) issued last May announced that the freeze will continue until the state takes stock of the existing posts and finalise a new administrative framework for respective departments.