Retired dons are back as principals

Teachers well past their prime are coming to the rescue of professional colleges in the state.

Professors over 70 years old are regularly being appo-inted as principals and faculty in engineering, medical, pharmacy, MBA, MCA colleges etc. to get approvals from regulatory agencies like AICTE and MCI.

While new colleges use the aged teachers to secure fresh approvals, established colleges use them to ensure renewal of approvals for subsequent years.

The elderly faculty are also offered attractive salaries of Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs2 lakh per month besides perks like accommodation and chauffeur-driven cars.

The colleges are resorting to these tactics to overcome the severe shortage of qualified faculty in the state and to escape punishment from regulatory agencies for failing to comply with the norms.

These elderly teachers usually remain on paper and don’t take any classes barring the days of inspections. When officials of regulatory agencies and universities visit, the principals are found in their offices and the faculty in the classes.

Principals over 70 not allowed

The issue of elderly professors being regularly appo-inted as principals and faculty in Engineering, Medical, Pharmacy, MBA, MCA colleges etc. recently came to light during inspections carried out by the task forces constituted by the state government to verify whether the professional colleges were complying with the norms regarding faculty and infrastructure.

Sources also pointed out that while aged faculty used to be hired only on inspection days, with regulatory agencies insisting on submission of Form-16 (tax deduction at source certificates), college managements these days are forced to appoint them as full-time staff.

The rule book states that in professional colleges a candidate to be appointed as a principal should have 10 years of experience as a professor besides holding a PhD.

For a state that has the highest number of professional colleges in the country at 700 engineering and more than 1,500 offering MBA and MCA courses, finding qualified principals is extremely difficult for managements, thus the ruse.

JNTU-Hyderabad registrar Prof. N.V. Ramana Rao said that while engaging faculty aged above 70 years would be allowed, principals beyond 70 would not be as the age-limit for them was 70 years. “Earlier, 65 years was the age limit for principals.

It has now been raised to 70 to overcome the shortage of principals. However, the managements have been requesting us to give approvals even if they cross 70 years,” Prof. Rao said.

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