A section of Delhi University’s Executive and Academic Council members have demanded the appointment of a permanent principal at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (Evening) and have halted teachers’ interviews until the need is met.
Professor Arun Kumar Attree, principal of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (Morning) has been the ‘acting principal’ of the Evening college since December 2022. Several teachers from Delhi University’s Executive and Academic Council penned a letter to the Vice Chancellor, Yogesh Singh recently on Sunday, 7th May 2023 demanding the recruitment of a permanent principal at the evening college claiming that such a temporary arrangement for a full-fledged working college goes against the “ethos and practised norms of the university.”
The letter also highlighted that the staff association is deeply concerned about the future of the college as the “incumbent principal in collaboration with governing body chairman has been instrumental in displacing a large number of experienced teachers from the morning college in a recently held recruitment.”
The letter also requests for upholding the “university ordinance” and appointing the senior-most professor of the college as the acting principal unless the permanent principal is recruited. While citing that no major efforts were made to fill the vacancy for a year, it appeals for a speedy recruitment process and the halting of all faculty recruitment interviews unless the permanent principal is appointed in the “larger interest of the institution and the genuine demand of the staff association.”
As DU Beat ventures to converse with students at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (Evening), we find out that the agitation among the staff circle has not affected student forums in the college much. A student of B.A. Programme at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (Evening) who wishes to remain anonymous alleges that the appointment of Professor Attree as the acting principal has “significantly improved” the condition of the evening college- in terms of academics and infrastructure in a matter of four months.
Whenever I have sought help from Professor Attree, I have found immediate action. Previously, under the former principal, my classes were irregular, our teachers would sometimes be unwilling to take classes and only 4-5 students would come. Professor Attree looked into that and placed strict attendance rules due to which 40-50 students come for evening classes without fail now. Not only that, he has revamped the washrooms, improved the library seating, made the evening timings for the library more flexible, and initiated building lifts in the college while also making sure the sincerity of teachers and students in taking regular classes. I am very satisfied with him being the acting principal of the evening college — a student at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College who wishes to remain anonymous.
As claimed by the students, in general they are facing no discrepancies in their academic schedule caused by the conflicts against the position. However, there is no clarity as to why the senior-most professor of the college was not appointed as the acting principal on the retirement of the former permanent principal, Dr. S.K. Sinha and instead, Professor Attree was chosen. Most students allege that Professor Attree in spite of being “burdened” with additional responsibilities of the Evening college has done an exemplary job compared to his predecessor.
This rising demand among the teachers could be a political agenda and even personal motives could be involved. The students in general do not support the removal of Professor Attree –a student activist at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (Evening) allegedly claims.
The appointment of a permanent principal at the college has become a burning issue within the forum and needs urgent attention from necessary authorities to resolve it in due time in order to preserve the educational integrity and progression of such a reputed South Campus institution.
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