Maha tweaks 3-yr-old cost-cutting diktat, lets colleges to hire full-time principals
Almost three years after the state put a freeze on recruitment of principals in government and private aided colleges, it has decided to fill the vacant posts. Currently, 25 of 105 colleges in Mumbai and 27 of 95 colleges in Konkan region do not have full-time principals.
A circular issued on Monday said the state finance department has approved to lift the freeze on hiring principals, as their presence is essential for day-to-day academic and administrative work in college and for assessment and accreditation of the institutes by regulatory bodies.
“There are quite a few [colleges with vacant principals’ position]. A separate proposal for lifting freeze on other positions nod from awaits finance department,” said Sitaram Kunte, additional chief secretary, higher and technical education department.
To bring financial stability to the state by curbing expenditure on government employees, the state put a freeze on creating new posts and filling existing posts in 2015 . Another government resolution, issued in May 2016, announced that the freeze will continue for respective departments until they take stock of their existing posts and finalise a new administrative framework.
In January, HT had reported that s Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) has withdrawn no-objection certificates (NOCs) issued to colleges for appointing new faculty members. As a result, the colleges where principals had either completed their five-year term or were about to do so 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) — had requested the state to allow the colleges to hire new principals.
The principals have now welcomed the states decision. “The temporary principals are uncertain about their service and don’t take effort to benefit from government schemes. They have to shoulder additional responsibilities, in exchange of a small remuneration. The state says the recruitment freeze was a cost-cutting measure, but appointing a full time principal doesn’t entail much of a cost,” said TA Shiware, chairperson, ANGC.
Shiware added the state should now issue NOCs and the universities should give their approval to initiate the recruitment process at the earliest. “It will take at least two months to appoint new principals,” he said.