Published: 06th January 2022
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan Vs the Higher Education Department: A timeline of how things went down
As the governor chose to step down from his role as chancellor of the state's universities, we take a look at what went wrong between him and the state government
The rift between Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and the state government, especially with regard to matters involving the Higher Education Department has widened enormously over the past few months. But the sordid state of affairs was not always so. In fact, the governor appeared pleased with several developments happening across the state, as evidenced by his statements before things took a turn for the worse. Here we look at what was said and done by him before it all fell apart.
July 16, 2021: The governor reiterates vice-chancellors' suggestion to ask parents to sign an anti-dowry bond during the children's admission in higher education institutions. The move received positive backing from all quarters but this ultimately was to be the high point of his relations with the education sector in the state.
September 16, 2021: The governor calls upon vice-chancellors of the state universities to work on implementing the National Education Policy 2020. He emphasises the need for inter-university collaboration and knowledge sharing.
October 1, 2021: The governor stresses the right kind of education being key to peace in society and states that India's spiritual gurus reinstated values of dignity and divinity from time to time. The relations with the state education apparatus seemed fine to this point but things were to change soon.
December 11, 2021: While speaking to the media in Delhi, the governor, referring to the controversial decision to appoint a vice-chancellor at Kannur University, says that the higher education sector has gone to the dogs as even appointments are being made against the rules. This was when everything started to go downhill between the governor and the state.
December 14, 2021: The war of words with the state government escalates after the governor maintains that he will stick to what he said earlier and that he has no plans to take up the chancellor's position if universities were not given complete autonomy.
December 31, 2021: Arif Mohammad Khan clarifies that he will not return as the chancellor of universities of the state and asks the government to deal with the notice issued by the Kerala High Court that sought clarification on the reappointment of Gopinath Ravindran as the Kannur University Vice-Chancellor.
January 1, 2021: The governor is in the news again, this time for terming the suggestion that he had made a recommendation to Kerala University to confer a DLitt on President Ram Nath Kovind as "irresponsible" and "ignorant."
January 4, 2022: The governor sticks to his decision to withdraw as chancellor of universities. He hints towards internal turmoil as the reason for this decision, saying further discussing the reason won't be possible as it involved national institutions.