Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT) has declared the appointment of principals in 12 government arts and science colleges in the state as illegal. With this, there are now 68 government colleges without principals out of a total number of 72 government colleges. Eight of the 12 who secured promotion illegally have retired, while four are still in service.
A total of 64 government colleges have only in-charge principals currently. With the disqualification of four more, the number increases to 68. Two of them have been promoted as Collegiate Education Deputy Director as well.
The promotion given by the government violating the UGC rules and Kerala State and Subordinate Service Rules (KS and SSR) has now been declared illegal by the KAT. The qualifications for becoming a principal are to have 15 years of teaching experience, 10 research papers published in UGC-recognized publications, and a research score of 110.
There is an allegation that the government college principal appointments made by the first Pinarayi Government are all made in violation of the UGC rules. The KAT had struck down the list from which principals were appointed in 2017 and 2018. The order came on a petition filed by the University College Associate Professor Dr S Babu.
A total of 62 principals were appointed since 2016 February 23 without forming the selection committee as per UGC rules. The new verdict will affect those retired and in service.
One of those 12 principals currently disqualified includes a former state-level leader of the pro-CPM organization, AKGCTA. A list was recently prepared by including 43 eligible people for promotion to the post of principal. The PSC has also recognized this. However, even then, the government is trying to push the names of people close to it, ignoring the eligible ones.