Himachal court concerned over vacancies in remote college

Shimla, May 29 (IANS): The Himachal Pradesh High Court has taken note of deplorable state of affairs regarding filling vacancies of teaching and non-teaching staff at the Government Degree College in interiors of Shimla district.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh passed this order on a petition taken up suo motu as public interest litigation on the basis of a media report.

The newspaper report said the degree college in Kupvi was started in July 2022 and 72 students were enrolled in the college. Though the college has five peons and a clerk, however, no teacher has been appointed so far. There has been no regular teacher throughout the session. The PTA has hired two private teachers for political science and economics, but they are not good enough.

The teachers were deputed from nearby college in Nerwa but they did not join at all.

Taking cognisance of the media report, the high court sought reply from the Chief Secretary, the Principal Secretary, Education, the Director, Higher Education, and the Principal of the college in Nerwa.

After perusal of reply from the respondents, the court observed that it reflected the deplorable state of affairs with regard to the posting of staff. All eight posts -- the Principal and lecturers in English, Hindi, political science, economics and two posts in Commerce -- all are lying vacant.

The court was also shocked to notice that even the posts of non-teaching staff are lying vacant. As against the 18 sanctioned posts, 13 posts are vacant.

Taking serious note of the situation, the court expressed its anger and observed that can this college really be termed to be a college when "there is practically no teacher. 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 court observed that Kupvi is located in the remote area of Himachal Pradesh and it is, therefore, incumbent upon the government to make the college fully functional.

It directed the respondents to ensure that by next academic session, all the posts of teaching and non-teaching staff are filled and the college is made fully functional, that too in a building, which would at least have a semblance of college building.

The court also expressed its displeasure as to why it took the Principal over a year to even identify the land for construction of a college building, as it took judicial notice of the fact that in the urban areas of the state, there is clearly over-staffing.

It has directed the government to post those teachers, who have longer stay in urban and semi-urban areas, to the colleges like one in Kupvi.

The respondents were directed to file status report on June 26.



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