Forty-eight of 115 government degree colleges in the state are without principals, still the government is boasting of raising the higher education standards.
The situation will worsen in the coming days as five more principals are retiring and nine new colleges announced by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh are in the pipeline. In Kangra, 10 colleges are without principals followed by Shimla (eight), Mandi (five), Sirmaur, Kullu and Chamba (four each), Solan, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Una (three each) and Kinnaur (one). Seventeen colleges have officiating principals.
The government in its present term opened 44 new degree colleges in far-flung areas, including 17 in 2016-17), but did not provide faculty and infrastructure. Even assistant professors appointed in the colleges to meet the shortage through the Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (HPPSC) are on contract.
Resentment prevails among college teachers over the extension to some principals. They said in the past one year, no meeting of the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) was held. A large number of senior teachers are awaiting a promotion as 75 per cent posts of college principal are filled internally.
The government has refused to restore the advance increments given to teachers possessing MPhil and PhD degrees, stopped since October 2014.
General secretary of the Himachal Government College Teachers’ Association (HGCTA) Dr RL Sharma said the routine administrative work had come to a standstill as two posts of joint director were lying vacant in the directorate and there was no responsible officer even for the verification of the annual confidential report (ACR).
“We will be compelled to boycott evaluation of the sixth semester examination if the DPC is not held and promotions are not given on time,” he added.
The pressure of work on government college teachers has increased after the implementation of the semester system and RUSA and additional work like evaluation of answersheets and assignments for internal assessments has made things worse as there is a shortage of 1,600 teachers as per the guidelines of RUSA. The government is on a college-opening spree and the faculty is not being provided. Teachers are being shifted to new colleges which is affecting the studies.
Story: The Tribune