VC appointment: Kerala varsity rejects Guv's proposal to name representative to search panel

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala University on Thursday rejected Governor Arif Mohammed Khan's proposal to name a representative to the search committee to appoint a vice-chancellor (VC). The three-member search committee comprises a representative of the Governor, one of the University Grants Commission (UGC), and one of the varsity.
The legal advice received by the Registrar is that a decision on proposals regarding representatives shall be made only after the university bills passed by the legislature are assented to by the President. However, the VC in charge of Kerala University is not bound by legal advice.

Both the VC and Senate can take a call on the matter. Even if Left members oppose a recommendation, names suggested by the Congress and BJP members of the Senate can be approved by the VC and sent to the Governor. Of the 105 members in the Senates, 26 are of the Congress and the BJP. It remains to be seen whether the VC will reject the legal advice.

Kerala University has not been able to appoint a VC for the past year as no search committee has been formed. The VC of the Health University has been given the temporary charge.

There is also legal advice that the composition of the search committee can change once the President assents to the bills. However, those opposing the varsity's decision say the existing rules will apply until the president takes a call on the bills. The High Court has ruled that if there is any delay in forming a search committee, the Governor can proceed with the process.

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