Governor rejects reappointment of Dr Sabu as MG varsity vice chancellor

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Governor Arif Mohammad Khan rejected the government’s recommendation that Dr Sabu Thomas, vice chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University, whose tenure comes to an end on Saturday, be reappointed to the post.

The governor has directed the higher education department to submit a list of names consisting of three senior professors for appointment as the interim vice chancellor.

Similarly, an interim vice chancellor will have to be appointed at Malayalam University too, where Dr Sabu Thomas holds additional charge at present.

Dr Sabu Thomas is among the vice chancellors who have been issued dismissal notices by the governor on the basis of a Supreme Court verdict. The governor is of the opinion that reappointing Dr Thomas would constitute a contradiction of the norms.

The governor who reappointed Dr Gopinath Ravindran as vice chancellor of Kannur University on the recommendation of the state government later disowned his own action. A petition with regard to the reappointment is under consideration by the Supreme Court. The problems involved in making another reappointment under these circumstances were also one of the reasons for the governor’s objection. However, the government is of the view that since the age limit for appointment of the vice chancellor at Mahatma Gandhi University is 65 years, in contrast to the reappointment that was made at Kannur University, there are no impediments to granting Dr Sabu Thomas another term.

But the governor asked for the list of nominees for appointment as interim vice chancellors after rejecting the government’s view. There are indications that the list that will be submitted by the government will include the name of Dr Sabu Thomas too.

The charge of vice chancellor was given to the person recommended by the government at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) too. With the vice chancellor of MG University also retiring, nine universities in the state will not have confirmed vice chancellors.

The government has taken the stand that if the governor does not sign the Amendment Bill that was brought by the government for implementing its policy in the appointment of vice chancellors, then the interim vice chancellors can continue in the posts until the end of the governor’s tenure.

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