Mahatma Gandhi University has decided to cancel the appointment of two assistant professors made during the tenure of Rajan Gurukkal as Vice-Chancellor.

The decision was taken by the UDF-nominated Syndicate on Thursday. It also decided to renotify the posts and turn the post in the School of International Relations and Politics (SIRP) temporary.

The appointment at SIRP had been made against the UGC-assisted Innovative programme in Public Policy and Governance. As per the scheme, the UGC would assist the programme for five years and then onwards, it was the university which was to take the responsibility of the programme.

As such, the then authorities had notified (even before the government ratified it) the vacancy as permanent. The reservation norms for permanent posts were made applicable and Dimpy V. Divakaran was selected.

However, the issue was brought before the court pointing out that the vacancy should have been temporary.

It had also been argued that the reservation norms applicable should have been those for a temporary vacancy. With the government refusing to ratify the vacancy and the new university dispensation taking the view supportive of those who contested the earlier decision, the High court directed the university to cancel the earlier notification and renotify the post.

Based on this change, community rotation for posts that had been notified subsequently will also have to be renotified. This includes the appointment of an assistant professor M.K. Biju at the School of Management and Business Studies.

While the issues seem too technical, the implication will be far-reaching as most of the UGC-assisted schemes have a five-year period of UGC assistance after which the programmes have to be continued by the university, it has been pointed out.

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