Of the 64 non-professional colleges in Delhi University, 22 — or 34 per cent — are being run either by officiating principals or officers on special duty (OSD). Such is the dearth of principals that two DU colleges have been headed by the same principal for more than four years. P K Khurana, principal of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (morning), holds the additional charge of principal, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (evening).
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In DU, the morning and evening colleges are separate entities, with not just a separate set of students but also separate staff, libraries and offices. “I first got dual charge in 2007, when I was principal of the evening college. In 2012, I was made principal of the morning college and given additional charge of the evening college,” he said.
According to DU rules, an officiating or acting principal is appointed for a term of six months at the most, following which the post is supposed to be filled permanently, or the term is extended.
Institutions being run either by officiating principals or officers on special duty include Shri Ram College of Commerce, Hindu College and Hansraj College. SRCC last had a permanent principal in November 2014. Hindu College has been in a state of flux since 2012 when V K Jain quit.
Both colleges have since been run by acting principals. Interviews for the post of principal at both colleges were conducted recently and, sources said, the choice of principal was communicated to the university last month. However, no approvals have been received yet.
The responsibility of appointment of principals lies both with the university as well as the college governing body. The post has to be advertised by the governing body and the university is supposed to set up a selection committee for interviews.
“The university has been working on a day-to-day basis for the past few years. Not only are teachers appointed on ad-hoc basis, so are some principals,” said DUTA joint secretary, Rajesh Jha.
At Delhi College for Arts and Commerce, the post of principal has been filled by an officer on special duty for the past three years. Rajdhani College has had an acting principal as its head for a year-and-a-half.
According to DU officials, the university has started the process of appointing principals and has conducted interviews in a few colleges. “Many colleges have not advertised the posts yet, so we can’t do anything there,” said an official. DU Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi could not be reached for comment.
At Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, meanwhile, P K Khurana says he is trying to perform the task he has been assigned to the best of his abilities. “I can’t comment on why this state of affairs persists. I can only say the love and respect I get from students and staff keeps me refreshed.”