Crucial activities at the University of Kerala—including the awarding of doctorates to research scholars and granting of approval to the appointment of college lecturers—have come to a standstill what with the varsity Syndicate failing to meet for more than a month now.

The Syndicate last met on December 18, 2013. Though according to the varsity statutes the apex governing body need meet only once in two months, it had become a convention in recent years to hold monthly meetings of the Syndicate.

According to various Syndicate members who spoke to The Hindu on Monday, close to 80 research scholars are awaiting a final nod from the varsity to get their doctoral degrees.

“This figure is effective January 16. Since then many more scholars have had their doctorates cleared. But they can be awarded the same only by the Syndicate,” a senior official in the varsity administration said.

Delegations of syndicate members—both from the ruling UDF and the LDF—have approached the Acting Vice-Chancellor N. Veeramanikandan demanding that a meeting of the Syndicate be convened at the earliest.

The convener of the student discipline committee and Syndicate member P. S. Sreekala pointed out that perhaps the worst hit by this gap in the Syndicate’s meetings were students who were caught for alleged examination malpractice and were since exonerated by the committee.

A couple of Syndicate members claimed the acting VC had told them that he was waiting for the new Vice-Chancellor to take charge and that he did not want to convene a Syndicate meeting before that. Syndicate member K. L. Vivekanandan said here that many college teachers whose appointments had been cleared after many years were now awaiting the varsity’s recognition.

Dr. Veeramanikandan, when contacted, said . “As per the statute, the Syndicate should meet before February 16. Maybe we will have a meeting next week. ”