Published: 30th May 2023
Himachal Pradesh HC directs teachers to be appointed to Kupvi College
The court took up the matter as a suo motu PIL based on a newspaper article published on May 25
The Himachal Pradesh High Court has taken serious note of the deplorable state of affairs with regard to filling up vacancies for teaching and non-teaching posts at Government Degree College in Kupvi, Shimla. The court has directed the state government to post teachers in the college.
As per an official statement from the HC, a division bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh, took up the matter as a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) based on a newspaper article published on May 25. The article stated that despite its establishment in July 2022 and enrollment of 72 students, the college failed to appoint any regular teaching staff, as mentioned in a report by ANI.
Not a single teacher?
While the college has five peons and a clerk, it has been operating without a single teacher throughout the academic session. To address this deficiency, the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) hired two private teachers for Political Science and Economics, but they are not good enough, the newspaper article said. Teachers were also deputed from the nearby Government Degree College, Nerwa, but they did not join at all.
The newspaper report highlighted that the college currently lacks its own building and classes are being conducted in the storeroom of a nearby Senior Secondary School. Considering the circumstances, the HC sought a reply from the Chief Secretary of the state, Principal Secretary (Education), Director (Higher Education), and Principal of Degree College, Nerwa.
After perusal of the reply from the respondents, the bench found that the news item, as published is absolutely correct. Eight posts, including that of the principal and lecturers in English, Hindi, Political Science, and Economics, and two posts for lecturers in Commerce are indeed lying vacant at the Kupvi College.
Posts of non-teaching staff vacant as well
The court was shocked to notice that even the posts of non-teaching staff are vacant. As against the 18 sanctioned posts, 13 posts are vacant. The bench expressed its anger and questioned if the college could really be called a college when there were practically no teachers.
"The opening of college at the behest of the government cannot just be a gimmick or an election stunt as the people's faith and aspirations of the students are grounded to such announcements," the bench observed. It added that since Kupvi is located in a remote area of Himachal Pradesh, it is incumbent upon the government to make the college fully functional.
The court directed the respondents to ensure that by the next academic session, all the posts of teaching and non-teaching staff are filled and the college is made fully functional. It should also have the semblance of a college building, the court said.
The bench also expressed its displeasure as to why it took the concerned principal over a year to even identify the land for the construction of a college building. Judicial notice was taken of the fact that in the urban areas of the state, there was overstaffing.
Under the facts and circumstances, the bench directed the government to post those teachers who have had a long stay in urban and semi-urban areas to the Kupvi college. The respondents have been directed to file status reports on June 26, as per ANI.