'LDF always appointed experienced educationists as VCs,' CM defends varsity appointments

Kannur: Those who had appointed unqualified people with not even 24 hours of teaching experience as vice-chancellor are now levelling charges against the government, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

He was responding to the Opposition-levelled accusations on the appointment of vice-chancellors.

Firing back at the Opposition, Vijayan said during the United Democratic Front rule, the then Governor Sheila Dikshit had ousted such an ineligible vice-chancellor. The LDF has always appointed experienced educationists to lead the universities, the Chief Minister said, adding the past 30 years' history would vindicate his claim.

Vijayan also said there was no political interference in the appointment of Priya Varghese, wife of CPI leader and former Rajya Sabha MP K K Ragesh. Varghese's appointment as an Assistant Professor at the Malayalam Department of Kannur University had courted controversy.

Ragesh is currently the private secretary to the Chief Minister.

Those opposing Kerala's progress were now creating the controversy over appointments, Vijayan said. The Governor knows the government's stand on higher education, and it has been clearly mentioned in his policy speech and budget. The universities have been graded higher at the national level, the Chief Minister said.

The government has not demanded the Governor to do anything against his conscience, and the government could not be held responsible for the Governor avoiding appropriate decisions fearing controversy.

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan earlier said that he had approved the government's recommendation to reappoint the Kannur varsity vice-chancellor to avoid controversy.

Vijayan further said Constitutional posts should not be used for levelling political accusations.

"I don't need to use the Governor for political matters," the CM said.

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