Will he, won't he? All eyes on Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan over Chancellor issue

Arif Mohammed Khan
Arif Mohammed Khan

Thiruvananthapuram: Uncertainty continues over the status of the Chancellor of the universities in Kerala as Governor Arif Mohammad Khan is yet to announce whether he would assume the responsibility again, even after a letter from the chief minister urging him to continue in the post. Khan had informed the state government on December 8 last year that he was quitting the post of Chancellor.

Any indication about the Governor’s latest stand would be known only if university-related files to be cleared by the Chancellor are sent to the Raj Bhavan, the official residence-cum-office of the Governor, who is the Chancellor of the 13 universities in the state. Moreover, files from the Higher Education Department are sent to the Governor for approval. After announcing his decision to leave the Chancellor’s post alleging political interference, Khan had forwarded all files from these institutions to the Chief Minister’s Office. Subsequently, the universities and the Department had stopped sending files to the Governor.


Incidentally, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written four letters to Khan over the issue. All of them stressed that the government had not meddled politically in the university affairs and that this would not happen in future too.

Meanwhile, the Governor has agreed to appoint a senior advocate to represent the Chancellor in the crucial case in the High Court related to the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University.


Incidentally, Pinarayi contacted Khan twice over phone before travelling to the US for treatment to discuss the issue, following which the tension eased.


Even though Khan has not been shouldering the responsibilities of the Chancellor for over a month, the charge has not been handed over to anybody else. As a result, files needing the Chancellor’s signature have piled up at the universities and there is concern over whether the functioning of these institutions would come to a standstill.


At the same time, Khan has given enough indications that he would adopt a tough stand if he takes up the post of Chancellor again.

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