Kerala varsity VC rebuffs Governor's order to convene Senate

D.Litt to President: VC dismissed Governor's proposal tersely in a handwritten note
University of Kerala.

Thiruvananthapuram: Amid the ongoing tussle between Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the State administration, primarily over the running of higher institutions of learning, the Vice-Chancellor of the Thiruvananthapuram-based University of Kerala has rebuffed the former's move to call a Senate meeting.

Vice-Chancellor V P Mahadevan Pillai has stated that the Senate meeting cannot be convened for selecting the next VC of the University of Kerala.

The Governor's office had directed the VC to nominate a Senate representative to the search-cum-selection committee before September 26. The Governor, who is also the University Chancellor, had constituted the committee to select a successor to the VC, whose tenure ends on October 24.

But the VC has informed the Raj Bhavan that there is no point in convening a meeting again as the last Senate meeting had passed a resolution against the Governor’s move of unilaterally forming the search committee.

The Senate meeting, convened on July 15, had recommended the Planning Board vice-chairman as the Senate representative. But he later declined.

As the university did not recommend another nominee to replace him, the Governor formed the three-member search committee on August 5 while leaving the post of Senate representative vacant. The tenure of the committee is for three months. The Governor has the authority to extend the tenure by a maximum of one month.

In the new amendment to the law on university administration, a representative of the syndicate has been included instead of that of the Senate. But the Governor has not given his assent to the amendment.

What happens next?

The Raj Bhavan secretary has written to the Kerala VC again, directing him to choose the Senate representative and respond. If the University is reluctant in choosing the Senate representative, a two-member committee will proceed with the notification process for the VC selection.

In the current scenario, a new VC cannot be duly selected before October 24. The temporary charge would have to be handed over to the VC of any other University, or to a professor at the University itself.

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