governor defends the creation of a search committee | News from Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram: Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday defended the establishment of a search committee for the selection of University of Kerala vice-chancellor even as the university sought more time to appoint its member to the search committee.
Khan told reporters in New Delhi that he was forced to form the committee to adhere to the rule of setting up the search committee three months before the outgoing VC’s retirement. The governor, however, refused to address speculation that the university deliberately delayed appointing its representative to the research committee as the government moved forward with plans to change university laws with the primary aim of mitigate the powers of the governor.
Khan said he only agreed to serve as chancellor after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured him of no political interference by the government in university affairs. Following controversies over the reappointment of the vice-chancellor of Kannur University, the governor had asked the CM to take over the chancellery.
Sources said the governor had previously written to the government, asking for swift actions for the selection of the new Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University. However, he received no response. The UGC had already appointed its member to the search committee. On Friday, when the university approached the chancellor, asking for more time to appoint its member, quoting the deputy chairman of the state planning board, VK Ramachandran, as the senate recommended as the university’s representative on the panel, declined the same.
Hours after receiving the university’s request, the governor constituted the panel and notified it with a clause that the university’s representative would be included on the committee as the university appoints the nobody.
Meanwhile, the Federation of University Teachers’ Association protested the governor’s unilateral constitution of the recruiting committee, calling it a political gimmick.

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