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40 college principals in B-school crash course

Is running a college much different from managing a business' Not really, if you ask the new Left. And the point of convergence between a successful CEO and a good principal, it seems, is the “efficiency factor”, something a B-school can boost.

In a “first of its kind” initiative in the state, the higher education department — as it had promised a few months back — is ready to take college principals back to the classroom for lessons in management. In the first phase, the higher education department has identified 40 non-government college principals for the 15-day crash course, starting December 23. Government orders have been despatched, instructing them to log in to the programme at the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM).

Higher education minister Satyasadhan Chakraborty said on Friday that the curriculum was aimed at “enhancing efficiency” in college administration by exposing principals to modern management techniques. “The principals play a pivotal role in college administration, which involves an entire gamut of activities, ranging from resource mobilisation and their optimum allocation to coordination with various agencies and manpower management. The principals are primarily academicians, who need effective training to discharge their administrative responsibilities,” added Chakraborty.

Instructors in the public systems management department at IISWBM have drawn up the curriculum, which will be inaugurated by the minister on Monday. The classes will start on December 23 and the faculty members of the various streams of the oldest B-school in the country will take the classes.

The various course modules will focus on key areas of general principles in management, financial management and budgeting, accounts and audit, regulatory statutes, manpower management, handling of development projects, cost-effective purchase planning and application of information technology in college administration and management.

Swastik Misra, professor and head, public systems management, IISWBM, said: “In today’s world, management skill is a must for college principals. We have designed the course content in consultation with the government and the principals.”

The course fee of Rs 5,000 will be coughed up by the participating colleges, like Surendranath, Bangabasi, Jogamaya Devi, Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri and Gurudas. “I have gone through the course outline and found it very interesting. I think it will be an immense help,” said Pradeep Ghosh, principal, Bangabasi College.

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