Grants for colleges to be withheld till regular principal is not appointed.

 

The University Grants Commission’s (UGC) recent letter in which the commission had threatened 21 Delhi University (DU) colleges that their grants would be withheld unless they appointed regular principals for their respective colleges, has led to protests from members of the DU’s Executive Council (DUEC) and Finance Committee (FC).

The DU colleges that are functioning without regular principals include the famous Hindu College, Jesus and Mary College, Kamala Nehru College and Gargi College. Most of these colleges have had “officiating heads”, instead of regular principals for over five years. Ramjas College, however, appointed a regular principal this week.

Early this week, expressing their disagreement, the EC and FC members penned a letter to DU Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi in which the members blamed the UGC of using pressure tactics and eroding the appointment rules in place.

A letter from the DUEC and FC, signed by Rajesh Jha, J.L. Gupta and Rajpal Singh Panwar, reads: “We express our disagreement with the UGC and DU administration’s approach over the matter of appointments. The DU authority and UGC together have caused prolonged delay in the appointment of regular principals in these colleges, posts for which are lying vacant for many years.  The colleges cannot be punished for the mistakes of the UGC and DU authority.

Rajesh Jha, DUEC member, told The Sunday Guardian: “The pressure put by the UGC on colleges to appoint heads of 21 DU colleges on the basis of a past advertisement which had come out almost a year ago is in contradiction with the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) own appointment rules. Appointment rules of MHRD prescribe that if the appointment gets delayed for over six months, the advertisement would be deemed cancelled and institutes shall come up with a fresh advertisement for filling the posts of teaching staff and principal.”

“Also, the UGC’s new regulation on service conditions that came this year has altered the eligibility criterion. After this change, many more teachers have become eligible for the principal’s post; therefore, a fresh advertisement should be published for filling these posts so that an equal opportunity is given to all,” Jha added.

The whole controversy started after the UGC’s letter on 13 August to the colleges and the DU registrar, asking them to speed up the appointment of principals in all 21 DU colleges. On the matter, the UGC had sought a time-bound reply from all the colleges in question and they were given only 18 days to file their reply.

In its letter, Professor Rajnish Jain, UGC secretary, said: “It is once again requested to expedite the process of 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.”

According to a DU source, 17 out of the 21 colleges functioning without regular principals have already filed their replies before the UGC, stating that they are taking steps to expedite the appointment of principals.

The Sunday Guardian has learnt that the MHRD had earlier directed the UGC secretary to take necessary steps to ensure fast-tracking the appointments of principals in these colleges.

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