The Kannur University Syndicate passed a resolution against governor Arif Mohammed Khan at a meeting on Thursday. The resolution stated that the governor’s decision to eliminate 9 vice chancellors is a move to stall the higher education sector in Kerala. It also alleges that the action of the governor as a chancellor of the Kerala University is is illegal. The resolution was presented by N Sukanya in the syndicate meeting.
“The state government is trying to make a big leap in the field of higher education. The government is starting the work to transform Kerala into a knowledge economy. In the meantime, the governor has asked the vice chancellor of Kannur University as well as 9 other VCs to resign," the syndicate said.
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According to the syndicate, the governor has withheld 26 amendments related to the university thus creating an obstacle to the administration of the university. The resolution also stated that the syndicate meeting is protesting against the action of the governor which is putting the university in a crisis which will adversely affect the future of the students.
Khan had earlier stayed the appointment of Priya Varghese, as an associate professor in Kannur University’s Department of Malayalam, over alleged violation of norms and favouritism. She is the wife of K K Ragesh, CPI(M) leader and private secretary to the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Varghese had allegedly been appointed to the post in Kannur University bypassing other candidates who had higher score in terms of the required qualifications like teaching experience, published research works etc. She allegedly had the lowest score for eligibility but had the top marks than the other five, in the interview, which is the basis of the appointment. On August 13, reports stated Varghese had scored very less compared to another candidate Joseph Scaria. While Priya’s total score was 156, Scaria’s got 651.
Vice-chancellors of a total of nine universities of Kerala were asked to resign as well as 15 senate members were sacked by the governor’s office. Khan had directed vice-chancellors of nine universities namely, the University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Kannur University, APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, University of Calicut, Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University, to resign.
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