Out of the 26 colleges in Chandigarh that are affiliated to Panjab University, eight have officiating principals, and out of the five primary government colleges, Post-Graduate Govt College, Sector 11, is the only college which has a regular principal, Professor J S Raghu, since 2010. Reason: new norms of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
According to the new regulations issued by the UGC in 2010 for the appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities and colleges for the maintenance of standards in higher education, it is now mandatory for professors to have a doctorate degree for being considered for the principal’s post in a PU-affiliated college. Due to this, many colleges across Chandigarh do not have regular principals for the last few years.
Several professors, however, argue that they should be governed as per the rules which were in place when they started working as professors. “I was appointed as the officiating principal in 2009, and it is unfair that I am being governed as per the UGC regulations of 2010,” said Professor Achila Dogra, who is the officiating principal at Post-Graduate Govt College for Girls, Sector 11.
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“There are many professors who have been in service before 2010, and they should be appointed as principals on the basis of old rules only. For the purpose of promotion, the administration cannot leverage educational qualifications,” she added.
However, despite the UGC regulations, Professor Gurjeet Kaur has been the officiating principal at the Post-Graduate Govt College, Sector 46, for the last three years. “Even though I have a doctorate degree, I have been the officiating principal of this college since April 2012. My qualifications are in accordance with the UGC norms. Despite this, the administration has still not done anything to appoint me as a regular principal,” she said.
According to the PU administration, these principals are appointed on the basis of their seniority and are given financial powers and access to drawing and disbursing services to make sure that there is no administrative problem inside the college.
Professor Naval Kishore, Dean College Development at Panjab University, said: “Almost all powers that are given to regular principals are given to these officiating principals by the university administration. Due to this, there are not any significant changes in the way the colleges are run.”
However, since they are not recognised as regular principals, their pay scale is equivalent to those of professors only. Professor Mani Bedi, who has been officiating principal of Post-Graduate Govt College for Girls, Sector 42, for the last five years, said, “Even after serving as officiating principals for years, the administration does not formally recognise us as principals, and neither is our pay scale made equal to that of regular principals.”
The Dean College Development said that since they were just officiating principals, it was but obvious that their pay scales were not as that of regular principals. He refused to comment further on this.
Colleges with officiating principals
* Govt College for Arts, Sector 10
* Govt College for Yoga Education, Sector 23
* Govt College of Commerce & Business Administration, Sector 42
* MCMDAV College for Women, Sector 36
* Post-Graduate Govt College for Girls, Sector 42
* Post-Graduate Govt College for Girls, Sector 11
* Post-Graduate Govt College, Sector 46
* Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26