Senate docs suggest Priya Varghese was appointed to non-teaching post

Dr Priya Varghese
Dr Priya Varghese

Kannur: The controversies regarding the appointment of Priya Verghese as an associate professor of Malayalam at Kannur University refuse to die down. Records emerged recently show that she was in a non-teaching post though she claims otherwise.

In her affidavit in the High Court, Priya has argued that the Associate Professor was a teaching post and that she possessed the qualifications for the same. However, N Sukanya, a Syndicate member and CPI leader, said Priya worked as a Student Service Coordinator at the university, which was a non-teaching post.

Though the University Grants Commission (UGC) told the court that Priya did not have the experience to be appointed to the post, Kannur varsity had said that she had the required academic qualifications. UGC had informed the court that her research period cannot be included as teaching experience.

The university has opposed the UGC statement in court.

The UGC has also stated that the qualification for Student Service Coordinator is determined by the respective universities. The documents of the Senate meeting held on September 16, accessed by Sukanya, suggest that the same is a non-teaching post. Sukanya is the permanent chairperson of Senate.

In her affidavit in HC, Priya had said that she had a total experience of 11 years including teaching and research experience. She had included the appointment as Student Service Coordinator as part of her qualification for the post of associate professor. This was challenged by the other candidate.

The Kerala High Court last week extended the stay on her appointment. HC will consider the case on November 2.

Earlier, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who is also the Chancellor of state universities, stayed Priya's appointment alleging nepotism. The order was challenged by the university syndicate in the High Court.

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

It is alleged that Priya got the least research score among six applicants for the post in the Malayalam department.

However, she climbed the rank list after the interview that was conducted by a committee led by the vice-chancellor. The information came to light following an RTI inquiry.

Joseph Scariah, a candidate for the same post, had ended up second in the final ranklist despite having a research score of 651 compared to Priya Varghese's 156.

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