The Kerala governor is at loggerheads with the state government once again over the latter’s decision to constitute a search committee for the vice-chancellor of the Malayalam University. This has snowballed into another controversy after governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who is also the chancellor of the universities in the state, questioned its legality.
In a letter written to the state government, Khan questioned the Left government’s move and said it has no authority to do the same.
The Malayalam University, named after Thunchath Ezhuthachan, considered to be the father of Malayalam language, is at Tirur in Malappuram district. The Chancellor’s office said Khan’s response came after the state government repeatedly asked to suggest his nominee to the committee.
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According to sources, the state government has constituted the committee based on the University Act (Amendment) Bill, which grants the government the authority to appoint vice-chancellors (VCs) of universities. However, that Bill is still pending with the governor, who is yet to give his assent to make it a law.
The governor, in his letter, said currently there was no law granting authority to the government to constitute a search committee. Last week, a few ministers of the state government had visited the governor and held discussions over pending Bills before him.
The term of the incumbent VC, V Anil Kumar, will expire on February 28.
According to the University Act, a search committee comprises a nominee of the Chancellor and a representative each of the government and the University Grants Commission (UGC).
However, the government decided to constitute a five-member committee that also included nominees of the university Syndicate and the Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC).