Ready to step down if Governor demands, says Kannur University VC

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Dr Gopinath Raveendran

Kannur: The newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University Dr Gopinath Raveendran stated that he is willing to step down from his role if Governor Arif Mohammed Khan asks him to do so. He opened in an interview with 'Mathrubhumi'.

“I was re-appointed as Vice-Chancellor by the Governor who is also the Chancellor. If he does not need my services, he can withdraw me,” Kannur University Vice-Chancellor Dr Gopinath Raveendran said.

Your re-appointment as Vice-Chancellor has been the subject of much controversy. What is your reaction on this?

At the end of my tenure, I had decided to join Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi. At four o'clock on my last day at the office, I received the order from the governor stating that I was re-appointed as VC. I neither expected nor wanted that. The only thing that mattered was I could continue the work I had started here. The day after the appointment order was received, an order was received from the Raj Bhavan requesting the documents of the re-appointment.

The chancellor himself has come out publicly criticizing the reappointment. What do you think about it?

I do not wish to comment on this. He knows the law better than I do. He has been a Member of Parliament and Union Minister for a long time. If he does not want my service, he can remove me from the position. I have not applied for this post to anyone. Similarly, the re-appointment of VCs is not the first incident in the country. The same scenario happened in many universities across the country as well as in Kerala.

It is rumoured that Minister for Higher Education and Social Justice Dr R Bindu recommended for your re-appointment?

If so, what's wrong with that? She is not only the Minister of Higher Education but also the Pro-Chancellor of the University.

There are ongoing protests demanding your resignation. What is your opinion on the matter?

I am not questioning anyone's right to protest. But we are doing everything possible to nurture and develop the higher education sector in the Northern part of Kerala. Also we performed well in the ‘NAAC' accreditation recently. The only request is that there should not be an approach from anyone that would affect these ongoing activities.

How only some of the appointments turned controversial?

Thirty teachers have recently been appointed, including three approved by a syndicate meeting held here on Tuesday. All appointments were made in compliance with UGC approved standards. Further, all the teachers are highly qualified. My question is how the only one of these appointments became controversial. Candidates were interviewed by a panel of highly experienced officials with no prior knowledge of the candidates. The wife of an MLA who was criticised by the media regarding appointment is still working on an hourly wage system.

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