Kerala Governor issues notices to two more Vice-Chancellors

The appointment of DUK and SNGOU V-Cs has been found to be in alleged violation of University Grants Commission norms

October 25, 2022 09:14 pm | Updated October 26, 2022 10:12 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan takes part in an event at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi on October 21, 2022.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan takes part in an event at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi on October 21, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Tuesday issued show-cause notices to Vice-Chancellors (V-Cs) of Digital University Kerala (DUK) Saji Gopinath and Sree Narayana Guru Open University (SNGOU) P.M. Mubarak Pasha.

Similar notices were earlier served on nine other V-Cs, including V.P. Mahadevan Pillai, who completed his tenure as Kerala University V-C on Monday.

The DUK and SNGOU V-Cs, whose appointments have been found to be in alleged violation of University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations, have been ordered to submit their explanations “on or before November 4 by 5 p.m., failing which it will be presumed that you having nothing to offer in reply”, the notices stated.

Dr. Pasha declared his intention to reply to the show-cause notice within the deadline. The other V-Cs will have to furnish their responses by November 3.

Supreme Court verdict

The LDF march to the GPO in protest against the alleged misuse of power by the Kerala Governor, in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

The LDF march to the GPO in protest against the alleged misuse of power by the Kerala Governor, in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: S. Mahinsha

The Raj Bhavan action came against the backdrop of the Supreme Court judgment that annulled the appointment of M.S. Rajasree as V-C of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University.

Meanwhile, legal expert N.K. Jayakumar has lashed out at the Governor for allegedly misusing his chancellorship.

The Kerala State University Law Reforms Commission (KSULRC), chaired by Prof. Jayakumar, had recommended trimming the Chancellor’s power. Advocating steps to ensure chancellorship did not involve an overarching role in universities, the panel called for divesting the Chancellor’s legal powers and entrusting a university tribunal chaired by a sitting or former judge of the Supreme Court or High Court with such authority.

Despite calls to relieve the Governor of the chancellorship, the commission felt it right to retain it as an “ornamental position”

“Personally, I would have recommended stripping him [the Governor] of the position if the report was prepared now. He has failed in his duty as the Chancellor to uphold the dignity of universities and function as a guardian of the V-Cs. While five commissions including the Radhakrishnan and Kothari Commissions had dealt with the importance of V-C, the Chancellor has undermined the respectable office,” the former V-C of the National University of Advanced Legal Studies said at a colloquium.

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