BENGALURU: A majority of government-run first grade (Degree) colleges in the state are functioning without regular principals for the past five years, as the State Department of Collegiate Education has not given promotions to eligible teachers on time. As per statistics from the department, out of 411 colleges offering under-graduate courses across the state, only 30 have regular principals and the rest are running by ‘OOD principals’.
OOD (on official duty) principal is a designation created by the Department in 2013. “When B G Nandakumar (retired) was the commissioner for the Collegiate Education Department, he created this designation instead of giving promotions to eligible faculty members,” said an official source from the department.
“No other State Education Department has a designation called OOD principal. This has been created only in Karnataka. We feel it is meaningless. The government is trying to wash its hands of the responsibilities by giving these designations, which are not in the service book or the rule book,” said Dr H Prakash, president, Federation of University College Teachers’ Associations in Karnataka (FUCTAK).
Without regular principals, many colleges face administrative problems.
No Teeth, No Power
According to a senior professors, who is principal on OOD basis, “As I am here on an OOD basis, I cannot initiate disciplinary action against any of the faculty members. Some of the faculty members are senior to me and they don’t obey any of my orders. Even on academic issues, I am not allowed to take any administrative decisions.”
Another principal working on OOD basis in a government college said, “I am drawing salary from a college I am appointed with and working here as principal on OOD charge. We really don’t want to do this but we have been forced to do it.”
OOD principals also do not get any facility that are provided to principals. While issuing the OOD orders, the Department specifies they cannot claim salaries for that designation and cannot avail of any financial or administrative facilities available to regular principals.