P Rajeeve | Videograb/Youtube-Sabha TV
Thiruvananthapuram: The LDF government introduced a bill in the Kerala assembly on Wednesday to amend 14 university acts in order to remove the governor as chancellor. Opposition alleged that the bill flouted UGC guidelines and demanded that the attorney general appear in the Assembly to clarify the legal issues.
The state cabinet last week approved the draft bill to appoint independent chancellors to all 14 state universities in Kerala. The appointment of chancellors is for a period of five years. The amendments empower the government to remove chancellors in case of misconduct.
The bill was tabled by law minister P Rajeeve in the assembly despite protests from opposition parties. Opposition leader VD Satheesan stated that the Supreme Court set aside the appointment of Rajasree MS as Vice-Chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University for violating the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations. Therefore, introducing a bill that violates UGC norms will only lead to more problems in the future. The bill was carelessly prepared with too little attention to it, he added.
The government had recently appointed dancer and activist Mallika Sarabhai as the chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed-to-be-University. The bill is crucial for the government in the fight with the governor. It may be recalled that he is yet to sign the University Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022, passed in September, which alters the composition of the search-cum-selection committee of vice-chancellors. Khan has stated that he will not sign the new bill.