Priya Varghese, wife of Kerala CM's aide, gets appointment letter from Kannur University

The Kerala Division Bench had passed a verdict to re-scrutinise her appointment as an associate professor
Picture Courtesy: Google Images
Picture Courtesy: Google Images

The UGC (University Grants Commission) is all set to approach the Supreme Court challenging the verdict given by the Kerala High Court which upheld the appointment of Priya Varghese as an Associate Professor at Kannur University, who is also the wife of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's Secretary, KK Ragesh. She was given her posting order asking her to join within 15 days' time at the Nileshwaram campus in Kasargod district.

What was the verdict passed?
The Kerala Division Bench passed a judgment last month when it overturned a single bench judgement that asked to re-scrutinise her appointment after the second-ranked candidate raised objections against her appointment, which according to the petitioner was in violation of the UGC guidelines.

Varghese subsequently quickly filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on her appointment.

In November 2022, a single bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran ruled that Priya Varghese had failed to fulfil the criteria as prescribed by the UGC. But with the division bench last week setting aside the verdict and clearing her appointment, one more hurdle before the Kannur University was the stay of the Chancellor, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.

The RTI query that was filed against Varghese when the issue surfaced revealed that Varghese got the maximum marks (32 out of 50) in the personal interview, while the second-ranked candidate Jacob Skariah scored 30. Varghese's research score was a mere 156, while the second-ranked candidate secured 651. However, Varghese was ranked first based on the personal interview.

The doubts had arisen against Varghese as Ragesh, a former Rajya Sabha member of the CPI(M), hails from Kannur and is considered to be a close aide of Vijayan.

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