Published: 17th January 2023
RTI reveals that Bharathiar University took no steps against private colleges flouting this UGC norm
An RTI response stated that as many as 20 private affiliated college principals are working after the expiry of their tenure of five years, violating UGCs rules
It has been revealed through a Right to Information (RTI) response that Bharathiar University located in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, did nothing to stop its affiliated private institutions from allowing principals to work longer than five years, in violation of the UGC rule. A retired professor and RTI activist from Coimbatore, NR Ravishankar, requested information regarding the names of private college principals who had served out their five-year terms as well as information about the complaints that were filed about it and the actions that were taken. Up to 20 affiliated college principals are still working after their five-year term ended, according to Bharathiar University's response to the RTI. He asked about the steps that had been taken by the colleges with regard to these principals who continued to serve after their tenure was complete. The university responded that no such steps had been taken, stated a report by The New Indian Express.
The university continued by stating that academicians, professors and the general public had not complained about principals who had been in charge for longer than five years. NR Ravishankar condemned Bharathiar University officials for failing to take action against college principals who continue to work after their terms have expired and he alleged that the senior officers are encouraging them.
"As per the UGC norm 2018, a principal can work for five years continuously and if they want to be the principal again, they should be selected through another interview by the college. But, colleges do not follow the norm. A few colleges are allowing the principal to work for more than 15 years too. It indicates that the university is supporting the private colleges violating the norm," he alleged.
He stated that he would file a complaint about this issue with the UGC in an attempt to take legal action against the college management and university authorities who had failed in their duties, as reported by The New Indian Express.
A university executive who was questioned about it denied this allegation, and told TNIE, "UGC released GO 5 regarding the principal appointment and tenure in 2018. As per UGC guidelines, the university adopted this GO in 2021. This GO will not curb the present principals who work more than five years. We can take action in the upcoming years if a principal holds the post for more than five years."
Reacting to this, State President of the Association of the University Teachers, P Thirunavakarasu, told TNIE, "Even UGC's GO 2010 clearly says a principal can hold the posts only five years. Violating the GO in 2010 and 2018, college principals are holding the post for more than five years."
Additionally, he alleged that the state government only allows principals to work until the age of 62, but a few managements permit principals older than 62 to work in institutions. D Karthikeyan, Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Bharathiar University and higher education secretary could not be reached despite numerous attempts.