Priya Varghese appointment: VC says will abide by HC order, not to go for appeal

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Gopinath Raveendran

Kannur: Vice-chancellor of Kannur University, Prof Gopinath Ravindran, said that the appointment of Priya Varghese was done as per law and the university would abide by the HC order and not go for appeal. He also added that the rank list would be reconsidered.

Prof Gopinath Ravindran told the media here on Friday that the institute had sought clarification from the University Grants Commission on whether deputation under the Faculty Development Programme can be considered as teaching/research experience for direct recruitment. However, there was no reply. If UGC had replied on time, Priya Varghese would not have been selected as associate professor, he said.

Ravindran was talking to the press in the backdrop of the high court order that allowed the writ petition by the second rank holder in the rank list for the post against the selection process. The court has asked the university to recheck the applications and prepare a fresh rank list as Priya did not have sufficient teaching experience.

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Ravindran, while narrating the timeline of the selection process, said he received the first complaint from the Chancellor against the process on November 22. The complaint stated that Priya did not have sufficient experience. The university then sought the legal opinion of the standing council who said the university may go ahead with the selection process.

However, in February, the university wrote to UGC. It then approached the Attorney General with the same query. Upon receiving a positive response, they moved ahead with certificate verification.

Meanwhile, the court stayed the process on August 22.

Prof Ravindran said the court verdict would affect around 400 teachers from the state who have taken FDP to do PhDs. "This will affect future direct recruitments for associate professor and professor posts. It will also impact principal appointments since the latest UGC regulation says the post has to be filled by direct recruitment.

He expressed concern about whether teachers would come forward to take up posts like director of student services, controller of examinations and registrar.

The VC said that the university would not appeal against the order as “it is expensive.”

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