Governor Arif Khan serves ultimatum to Kerala University

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday sent a stern letter to Kerala University requesting the inclusion of a Senate member on the search committee established to choose a new vice-chancellor.

Khan had not received a response to his first two letters on the subject. He claimed on Monday that the existing three-person committee's other two members will have to join him in moving forward.

Next month, the current vice chancellor will retire. A few months ago, Khan had written to the University to request its nomination. When he did not hear back, he sent another letter. He selected Dr. B. Satyanarayan, vice chancellor of the Karnataka Central University, and Debashish Chatterjee, director of the IIM-Kozhikode, as two outstanding academics.

In any case, V.K. Ramachandran, vice-chairman of the Kerala State Planning Board, was mentioned in the senate hearing on July 15 before he later resigned. The Chancellor has the authority to extend the three-month search committee process by one month more. On this subject, Khan and the current Pinarayi Vijayan government have been exchanging barbs.

The University Laws (Amendment) Bill has recently been passed by the Assembly, but the Governor has not yet signed it. According to the amendment bill, a candidate from the state government and the state higher education council will be added along with the nominees from the Chancellor, UGC, and university Senate. This was done to give the state government more clout during the nomination of the vice-chancellor.

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