Clash between Kerala Higher Education Council, department over proposed reforms

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Dr Rajan Gurukkal and Dr R Bindu | Photos: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: The proposed higher education reforms in Kerala have caused a clash between the state Higher Education Department and the Kerala State Higher Education Council.

While council vice-chairman, Dr Rajan Gurukkal, believes that the changes proposed by the state government committees should not be delayed, the department feels there should be more discussion. As some of the proposals are in line with the latest National Education Policy, leftist organisations in the department are sceptical about them.

It is learnt that the council will be reorganised soon.

Dr Rajan Gurukkal has been sending letters to universities to implement the recommendations of higher education commissions. The department is in line with left organisations' demand for an alternative to national policy instead of repeating it as it is.

However, Dr Rajan claims that he is implementing decisions made in the presence of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The department says Dr Rajan was not entrusted with implementing it. This has caused disputes, with the chief minister being informed that the council is moving on its own.

The council’s term expired in November 2021, and reorganisation has been delayed since. CPM wanted to reconstitute the council with Dr Rajan Gurukal as vice-chairman and Dr M Sathyan as member secretary. But it was not implemented.

Minister R Bindu, Chairperson of the Council, is alleged to have been overlooked in decision making. Differences between Bindu and Dr Rajan were evident at a college curriculum workshop earlier this month.

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