Administrative apathy leaves 30 colleges headless, 600 teaching posts vacant

Around 30 Degree Colleges in Jammu and Kashmir are headless for many months and 600 posts of college assistant professors are lying vacant, reflecting administrative apathy in filling up the key posts.

Senior faculty members of the respective Colleges in addition to their own duties manage the posts of the College principals.

Rendering the Colleges headless has created administrative and academic crises in these higher educational institutions, putting students at the receiving end.

“Though the department has given DDO powers to the senior faculty members who are manning post of the principals but most of them are reluctant in decision-making which hampers the overall progress of the institutions,” an official said.

Recently, the higher education department took various decisions aimed at overall development of the Colleges but most of the initiatives proved a non-starter for no permanent principals.

The department had decided to set up career counseling cells and internal committees to have a check on the sexual harassment in the Colleges while as principals were also directed to ensure establishment and proper working of internal complaints committees against sexual harassment in line with the Vishakha guidelines.

“In some of the colleges these initiatives are under process while as in some colleges the heads are yet to take any decisions on these issues,” the official said.

The direction for setting up coaching centres in Colleges and participation of principals in taking up class work in their respective fields is yet to be started in various Colleges as well.

Besides permanent heads, the higher education department has failed to fill around 600 posts of assistant professors in the Colleges, creating a dearth of teaching staff across state.

“While the permanent faculty is yet to be recruited, the department is hiring academic arrangements on contract basis for Colleges to take classes of undergraduate students,” the official said.

The government recently announced setting up 102 new Colleges in the state in addition to around 96 already functioning for decades.

To begin with the department has started making new Colleges functional from makeshift arrangements at various places for which the authorities are shifting permanent faculty members from old Colleges to these newly announced ones.

“It has also added to the academic crises in the Colleges given the dearth of staff in existing Colleges. If the department wants to make new Colleges functional then it should be followed by fast track recruitment of assistant professors as well,” said president college teachers association J&K, Prof Tariq Ashai.

The department has shifted permanent faculty members from GDC Tangmarg, Sopore, Khan Sahab and other Colleges and posted them in newly approved Colleges.

Secretary higher education department, Talat Parvez Ruhella, said the vacancy of Principal posts would be filled by July end.

“We have also started process for recruitment of assistant professors through J&K PSC which will overcome the dearth of teaching staff in Colleges,” Ruhella said.

About shifting of staff from exiting Colleges to the new ones, Ruhella said the issue was being taken care of.

“Around 600 posts of assistant professors will be filled and there will be no crises in Colleges,” he said.