103 colleges in Kohlapur don’t have principals

KOLHAPUR,Sept7: The post of principal, one of the most important administrative positions for a college, is lying vacant in as many as 103 colleges affiliated to the Shivaji University, Kolhapur (SUK) for the past few years.

The office of Board of College and University Development (BCUD) said the problem has been more persistent in non-granted colleges.

According to BCUD, altogether 76 of the total 145 unaided colleges are operating without a principal. Moreover, the post of principal is lying vacant in 27 of the 135 aided colleges. The situation is quite bad considering the fact that of the 280 affiliated colleges, 103 are operating without the superior authority, taking the percentage to around 36.

University officials said the principal’s post in some of the colleges has been vacant since 1994, while the position remains unoccupied from 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013-14 academic years in some cases.

“The principals post is important one for a college, as he/she is manages administrative and academic activities of the institute. Because of non-availability of a principal, a prior university-approved vice-principal or the head of a college/recognised institute can look after the activities. The number of candidates who can meet the expectations is very few because of the stringent eligibility criteria,” said D R More, director of BCUD at SUK.

“For a principal’s post, we generally require a PhD degree holder, along with 15 years experience in hisher stream and a postgraduate degree with at least 55% marks. Another most important factor for the post is the candidates’ Academic Performance Indicator (API). To qualify for the post, a candidate needs to score at least 400 marks in the API. It has to be noted that before applying for the post, a prior API check needs to carried out through the university’s selection committee,” More said.

“The API standard is one of the main reasons to identify candidates. It takes an API of over 400 marks to get qualified for the professor as well as principal’s post. Since the professor’s post continues to be permanent, that of the principals has now turned into tenure-based from the academic year 2011-12. Hence, the eligible candidates look for a safe option,” he said.

He said the university reminds colleges to fill the vacancy at the earliest from time to time, but unavailability of candidates has failed to improve the situation.

When asked why over 50% unaided colleges are without a principal, More said, “There are various reasons behind it. Aided colleges offer various benefits and allowances, while the unaided ones cannot do so because of funds crunch. Hence, the eligible candidates do not prefer to opt for the position at once.”

“The change in the post from permanent to tenure-based from the 2011-2012 academic year might also be the reason,” he said, adding, “Earlier, if a professor got the position of a principal, he/she would stick to it for years. Now, he/she has to be there for five years only.”A university report in July 2014 stated that only 11 faculties from SUK were eligible for the principal’s post as per its annual API check.What is API

* Academic Performance Indicator (API) acts as an indicator of the candidate’s eligibility on various academic activities

* The activities involves experience and participation in the publication of research papers, conferences attended and books written among others

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