The High Court of Himachal Pradesh has taken serious note of the deplorable state of affairs with regard to filling up of vacancies of teaching and non-teaching staff at Government Degree College in Kupvi, Shimla.
As per an official statement from the High Court, a Division Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice, Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh took up the matter as a suo motu Public Interest Litigation based on a newspaper article published on May 25, 2023.
The newspaper stated that despite its establishment in July 2022 and enrollment of 72 students, the Government Degree College in Kupvi has failed to appoint any regular teaching staff. While the college has five peons and a clerk, it has been operating without a single appointed teacher throughout the academic session.
To address this deficiency, the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) hired two private teachers for political science and economics, but they are not good enough. The teachers were deputed from nearby Govt. Degree College, Nerwa, but they did not join at all.
Furthermore, the newspaper highlighted that the college currently lacks its own building and classes are being conducted in a storeroom of a nearby Senior Secondary School.
Taking cognizance of the newspaper report, High Court sought a reply from the Chief Secretary Govt. of HP, Principal Secretary (Education), Director (Higher Education) and Principal Degree College Nerwa. After perusal of the reply from the respondents, the Court found that the news item, as published is absolutely correct and reflects the deplorable state of affairs with regard to the staff posted at Government Degree College, Kupvi. All eight posts including that of Principal and Lecturers in English, Hindi, Political Science, Economics and two posts of lecturers in Commerce all are lying vacant.
The Court was 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 it 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 a remote area of Himachal Pradesh and it is, therefore, incumbent upon the Government to make the College fully functional.
The Court directed the respondents to ensure that by the next academic session, all the posts of teaching and non-teaching staff are filled up and College is made fully functional, that too in a building, which would at least have a semblance of a College building. The Court also expressed its displeasure as to why it took the concerned Principal over a year to even identify the land for the construction of a College building. The Court took judicial notice of the fact that in the urban areas of the State, there is clearly overstaffing.
In the given facts and circumstances, the Court has directed the State Government to post those teachers, who have longer stay in urban and semi-urban areas, to the Colleges, like one at Kupvi.
The respondents have been directed to file Status Report on June 26, 2023. (ANI)