Search committees for selecting VCs: Kerala Guv says wilful omission on part of varsity authorities

A day after constituting search committees for the selection of vice chancellors for six universities in the state, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday said he was doing his duty, but there was a wilful omission on part of the university authorities despite reminders from his office.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

Thiruvananthapuram | A day after constituting search committees for the selection of vice chancellors for six universities in the state, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday said he was doing his duty, but there was a wilful omission on part of the university authorities despite reminders from his office.

Khan, in his capacity as chancellor of the universities in the state, on Friday issued notifications for selecting Vice Chancellors for Kerala University, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Kerala Agricultural University and Malayalam University.

Speaking to reporters here, Khan cited media reports and claimed that the state government had instructed the universities not to send their representatives for the search committees.

"My duty is to ensure universities have regular vice chancellors. I have been sending reminders to the universities. I have sent six reminders to Kerala University and in the last meeting which was convened for the purpose, the Education Minister reached there and she disturbed the meeting," Khan said.

State Higher Education Minister R Bindhu in February this year chaired a senate meeting held at Kerala University, which had irked Khan.

The governor said the media had reported that the university authorities were instructed by the government not to send their representatives for the search committee.

"The last order of the court was clear that within a month the university authorities have been directed to send their representatives and then the latter part of the judgement said if the university fails to send their representatives, the chancellor shall go ahead in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the UGC regulations," Khan claimed.

He said he wants to ensure that the universities in the state have regular vice chancellors.

"If they are doing it with a wilful and deliberate attempt to create lawlessness, how can I help it?," Khan asked.

According to separate notifications for the six universities, the governor took the decision using his power as chancellor conferred by provisions of the University Act, and in compliance with the judgement of the Kerala High Court dated December 8, 2022.

The committees have been directed to make their recommendations within a period of three months from the date of the notification.

The governor's move comes amidst an ongoing tussle between the Raj Bhavan and the Left government in Kerala over various matters related to the administration of universities in the state.

The state government has not reacted to the governor's latest move.

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