Row over appointment: Poornima Mohan, wife of CM Pinarayi's OSD, quits plum post in Kerala varsity

Dr Poornima Mohan, whose appointment as the editor of the Kerala University's Malayalam Lexicon had triggered a controversy, resigned from the post on Wednesday.

Poornima, the wife of R Mohanan who works as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's officer on special duty, quit the post even as Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has sought an explanation from the varsity over her appointment.

Poornima's appointment had kicked up a controversy last June with the Save University Forum and opposition parties alleging favouritism and violation of norms.

The issue surfaced after the 'Save University Campaign Committee' complained to the Governor that the appointment of Poornima, a Sanskrit teacher with the Kalady Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, as the editor of the Malayalam Lexicon was in total violation of qualification guidelines.

The complaint was that how come a Sanskrit teacher be appointed after ignoring qualified Malayalam professors of the university. As per rules, only persons proficient in the language are eligible for the post.

The Save University forum, a whistle-blower group functioning for the welfare of the varsity, had alleged that a degree in Sanskrit language research was deliberately added as part of the qualifications for the post along with a post-graduate degree in Malayalam in the notification issued for the appointment of the editor of the Malayalam lexicon.

The Kerala University's stance was that the appointment was made by a selection committee of experts. Those who sat in this chair in the past includes scholars in Malayalam like Sooranad Kunjan Pillai, B C Balakrishnan and P Somasekaran Nair.

The post comes with a monthly perks of Rs 2 lakh.

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