Kannur varsity: Priya Varghese lectures on UGC norms to claim eligibility

Priya Varghese
Priya Varghese is the wife of K K Ragesh, the private secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Priya Varghese, whose appointment as an associate professor at Kannur University was annulled by the Governor has once again taken to social media to explain her eligibility.

The other day, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, in his capacity as Chancellor of universities, had ordered a stay on the appointment of Priya who is the wife of CPM leader KK Ragesh, private secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Priya, who dubbed the Governor's move a 'political drama', continued her outbursts on her Facebook page on Friday evening.

"Appointments of teachers to universities are held as per the UGC norms. It applies to not just Kannur University but all universities in the country. Those who have read the UGC norms should realise that no norms were violated in the appointment of associate professor to the Kannur University," Priya Varghese wrote on her Facebook.

Reiterating that the eligibility for the post was eight years of teaching/research experience, she cited the UGC guidelines to validate her case.

She cited an order issued by the Governor in 2016 that accorded "sanction for the deputation of Smt Priya Varghese, Assistant Professor in Malayalam, Sree Vivekananda College, Kunnamkulam, Thrissur for undergoing Ph.D. Course for the period from 29-07-2015 to 28-07-2017, under the FIP scheme".

With questions being raised on the grounds that she does not meet the eligibility criteria, Priya Varghese argued that under the Faculty Development Programme (FDP) that was started as Faculty Improvement Programme (FIP) in the tenth plan she had not availed leave to pursue her Ph.D., hence her period of research counted as experience.

The other day, soon after the Governor stayed "all further proceedings pursuant to the selection procedure", Kannur University Vice-Chancellor Gopinath Ravindran had met mediapersons and said they would challenge the order in a court.

This had reportedly upset the Governor who is mulling strict action as he considers the response from the VC gross misconduct and serious violation. The Governor will return to Kerala from Delhi on August 25.

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