Kerala Governor appoints new VC of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies

Khan ordered that till a regular VC was appointed, Dr Rosalind George would perform the duties of the VC 
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan | (Pic: Express)
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan | (Pic: Express)

Dr M Rosalind George, Professor and Dean of Faculty of Fisheries Science at the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), has now been appointed as the varsity's Vice-Chancellor. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, acting as the Chancellor of universities in the state, notified her appointment on Wednesday, November 23.

Khan ordered that till a regular VC was appointed, Dr George would exercise the powers and perform the duties of the VC with immediate effect, till further orders. The decision comes in the wake of the Kerala High Court, on November 14, quashing the appointment of Dr K Riji John as the VC of KUFOS on the ground that he was appointed in violation of University Grants Commission (UGC) norms, as per a report by PTI.

The court had quashed the 2020 notification issued by the Governor appointing the selection committee, his 2021 resolution recommending only one name, and his 2021 order appointing John as VC for a period of five years or till he attains the age of 65, whichever is earlier. The Bench had also directed the Chancellor (Khan) to constitute a selection committee for the recommendation of a panel of names in accordance with the UGC regulations at the earliest.

Pleas had been filed in the High Court by the applicants who participated in the selection process for the post of VC of KUFOS, challenging the appointment of John. And Khan had sought the resignation of the 11 VCs, including that of KUFOS, based on a Supreme Court order which, while quashing the appointment of the VC of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, had said that according to the UGC, a list of three suitable candidates has to be given to the chancellor, as per PTI.

The apex court had also said that a non-academician should not be part of the selection committee as per UGC regulations. According to Khan, the regulations were violated in the appointment of the 11 VCs and subsequently, he sent them show-cause notices asking why they should be allowed to continue in their posts in view of the Supreme Court's decision.

The ruling Left government in Kerala and Khan have been at loggerheads over the issue of the functioning of universities and his recent move seeking the removal of the 11 VCs. Earlier today, November 23, the Governor had said that the ordinance issued by the government seeking to remove him as the Chancellor of universities was "infructuous" now, as the state assembly has been summoned, as per PTI.

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