502 COLLEGES DO NOT HAVE PERMANENT PRINCIPALS
Three out of every five colleges affiliated to the University of Mumbai do not have permanent principals. According to the university, of the 755 colleges affiliated with MU, 502 colleges are functioning on acting principals either because of lack of appropriate candidates or are awaiting approvals from higher authorities.
“I’ve worked as a principal for 14 years and my management is happy with my record. There is a provision for approving extension to a principal after the candidate reaches 60 years. My college wrote to the university to extend my tenure and are awaiting their approval,” said KV Sirwaiya, former principal of Wilson College in Charni Road. With no official approval from the government so far, Sirwaiya who retired last year, has decided to take a break from the post till June. “I hope the approvals will come through by then,” he said.
In the past few months, principals of some of the top city colleges have retired from their posts including HR College’s Indu Shahani, KC College’s Manju Nichani and Harsha Mehta from SIES College in Sion. While in most cases, the vice-principal of the college took over the post as acting principal, final approvals from MU can take a while.
At KC College, former viceprincipal Hemlata Bagla is currently the acting principal. The college management hopes to get the final approvals to make Bagla the permanent principal within six months. “If a college has the right candidate who matches all the criteria prescribed by the University Grants Commission (UGC), approvals come through within six months,” said Bagla.
Many have also highlighted the lack of interested candidates for the principal’s post as one of the major concerns. “Nobody wants to take up the responsibilities that come along with the post.the administrative work can be stressful and there’s not much monetary gain so most senior staff members who are eligible for the post end up declining it,” said Ancy Jose, principal of Nagindas Khandwala College in Malad.
“A principal needs to have published research papers in the field of subject they excel in and that poses as a problem for commerce and law colleges as only a few people do research in these fields. We approve candidates quickly if they are apt for the job,” said a senior official from MU.
To pressure the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government to waive farmers’ loans, opposition parties are gearing for the fourth phase of their sangharsh yatra (struggle march) from May 11.
They also plan to request governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to convene a special session of the state legislature to discuss the issue.
The opposition parties intend to cover Konkan districts in the next three days.
Six prominent opposition parties parties — Congress, NCP, Samajwadi Party (SP), Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), Republican Party (Kawade) and United Janata Dal — have been demanding loan waiver for farmers reeling under agrarian crisis. Since March, the party leaders have been interacting with farmers and families affected by suicides. To counter them, the BJP has planned samvad yatra to reach out to people and tell them about government’s efforts to solve their problems.
“In the last three phases of the protest march, we have covered almost all districts of Vidarbha, Marathwada and north and west Maharashtra. We are yet to visit only the Konkan region and it will be covered in the fourth phase of the yatra,” said a senior leader who did not wish to be named.
He added, “We have decided to
ask the government to waive farmers’ power bills from the use of agriculture pumps. We also want the farm loan waiver to be discussed in the state legislature. A delegation of senior Opposition leaders will meet the governor and chief minister on May 2 to discuss both demands.”
The Opposition stepped up its demands to grant the Rs30,500crore loan waiver after the Uttar Pradesh government waived its farmer loans.
While addressing BJP’S state executive meeting in Chinchwad in Pune on Thursday, Fadnavis said, “During the samvad (dialogue) yatra, BJP leaders and workers will tell farmers about the government’s efforts to help them. Around five lakh workers will reach 50 lakh families.”