Kerala guv says CM Vijayan should appoint himself as chancellor of universities

Updated on Dec 11, 2021 03:28 PM IST

Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan said it was becoming difficult for him as a chancellor to the state’s universities from political interference and erosion of their autonomy.

File photo of Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan. ((Sanjeev Verma))
File photo of Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan. ((Sanjeev Verma))
By, New Delhi

Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Saturday wrote to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday expressing his disappointment over alleged political appointments in universities and urging the latter to amend the law and appoint himself as the chancellor.

Stating that it was becoming difficult for him as a chancellor to the state’s universities from political interference and erosion of their autonomy, Khan said asked Vijayan to amend the Acts of the Universities that made the governor the chancellor of these institutes of higher education. The governor asked Vijayan to amend the Act and appoint himself in his place.

"My advice to you is to amend the Acts of the universities and you personally assume the position of the chancellor, so that you can carry out your political objectives without any dependence on the governor. Once the universities come under the direct control of the government, there will be no scope for anybody to make allegations of political interference," Khan wrote in his four-page letter.

"You can ask the advocate general to prepare a legal document through which the governor can transfer the powers of the chancellor to the chief minister. I am confident it should not be difficult for the advocate general to find a legal method to do so," he added.

The Governor is reportedly unhappy about a number of latest developments in some of the state’s universities, including the reappointment of Kannur University vice-chancellor professor Gopinath Ravindran.

"I wish to make it clear that in the matter of Kannur University, I did something against my better judgment but I do not wish to do such things any more And at the same time, I do not wish to pursue a course of conflict with my own government," the Governor said.

"I fully realised that what I was being asked to do was not consistent with rules and was contrary to law but I had no intention to start any dispute with the state government. In order to avoid the controversy, I signed the order but I have been feeling extremely uncomfortable after that," he added.

"The existing scene today is that the authorities of the universities are packed with political nominees and non-academics are taking academic decisions," the governor further said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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