Search committees for selecting VCs: Wilful omission by varsity authorities, says Kerala Guv

Khan cited media sources and stated that the state government had directed universities not to send members to the search committees
Arif Mohammed Khan. Image used for representational purposes.
Arif Mohammed Khan. Image used for representational purposes.Image: ANI

A day after forming search committees to pick vice-chancellors for six universities in the state, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan stated today, Saturday, June 29, that he was doing his job, but there was deliberate neglect on the part of university authorities, despite his office's reminders.

Khan, as Chancellor of the state's universities, issued notifications on Friday, June 28, to select 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, reports PTI.

Speaking with reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, Khan cited media sources and stated that the state government had directed universities not to send members to 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.

In February this year, State Higher Education Minister R Bindhu presided over a senate meeting at Kerala University, which upset Khan.

The governor stated that the government had instructed the university administrators not to send members to the search committee, as reported by the media.

"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 decided while exercising his jurisdiction as chancellor under the University Act and under the Kerala High Court's order of December 8, 2022.

The committees have been required to offer their recommendations within three months after the notification date.

The governor's action comes amid an ongoing dispute between the Raj Bhavan and the Left government in Kerala on several issues concerning university governance in the state.

The state government has not responded to the governor's new move.

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