Vice-Chancellor allegedly bypassed Education Minister
With the Vice-chancellor of the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat), Ramachandran Thekkedath, allegedly bypassing Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb and directly liaising with the Governor in appointing Paulose Jacob the Pro Vice-Chancellor, the State government is facing an embarrassment.
The Pro Vice-chancellor is appointed based on political decisions. The university statute lays down procedures for it, stipulating that the file relating to the appointment originate at the office of the Education Minister, who submits a panel of names. The Chief Minister then conveys this to the Governor.
In the present case, this did not happed and the Governor signed the papers for the appointment of Dr. Jacob, whose name figured the first on the panel. The orders were later issued.
The Education Minister came to know about it only from newspaper reports and when the file came up before him the next day (Wednesday).
He reportedly called up the Vice-Chancellor and expressed resentment at the manner in which the appointment was handled. As Pro Chancellor of the university, the Minister could not have been bypassed. Neither could the Vice-Chancellor bypass the government without discussing the matter with him or the Chief Minister, Mr. Rabb said refusing to accept the Vice-Chancellor’s explanation that it was an oversight.
To questions of presspersons, Mr. Rabb said here on Thursday that he would discuss the issue with the Chief Minister who would be returning from aboard.
University sources said there was hardly anything the government could do about the appointment now since the orders had been issued. Besides, there appears to be no dispute over the appointment of Dr. Jacob, except for the procedural lapse. Dr. Jacob is said to be a relative of a senior Congress MLA, known to be close to the Chief Minister.