Governor to speed up Kerala VC selection; govt on crossroads

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Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, chancellor of Kerala University, has decided to go ahead with the process of appointment of vice-chancellor of the varsity despite the state Assembly passing a bill to amend the recruitment process.

The University Law (Amendment) Bill, 2022 will come into effect from August 1, 2022. It will soon reach Raj Bhavan for Governor's assent. At this moment, it is unlikely he would sign it immediately. It reorganises the search committee for VC by adding two more nominees who are under state's control to bypass the authority of the union government.

The Governor initiated the VC appointment process on August 5, without waiting for the university to recommend its nominee, as soon as he came to know about the proposal for the Bill.

The order establishing the three-member search committee states that the university nominee will be included once the university suggests.

However, the senate of Kerala University expressed dissent in not consulting them and wanted the Governor to withdraw the order. It passed a resolution against the Governor. Intimidated by this, Raj Bhavan sought the minutes of the meeting that passed the resolution.

The Governor can sit on the Bill passed by the Assembly as long as he wants. However, the government thinks if the Governor appoints a VC by challenging the state government, it would be nullified the moment the Bill becomes an Act as it has retrospective effect.

Meanwhile, sources said the Governor intends to create a website for the search for a new vice-chancellor. The committee now has nominees of UGC and Governor.

The constitution of the search committee by the Governor and the Bill passed by Assembly are likely to be drawn to court in future.

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