Kannur (Kerala) [India], October 24 (ANI): Leader of Opposition (LoP) of Kerala VD Satheesan has welcomed the state Governor's decision to "rectify his previous mistake of cooperating with the illegal appointments of the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan government."
VD Satheesan also mentioned that the governor's decision has come as a "setback" to the appointment of the vice-chancellors "in defiance with the norms and procedures of the University Grants Commission (UGC)."
"I welcome the fact that the Governor is ready to correct the mistake he made by cooperating with the illegal appointments of the Pinarayi government. The Governor's decision has come as a setback to the government's move to appoint vice-chancellors in defiance of UGC norms and procedures," LoP VD Satheesan said on the Governor Arif Mohammad Khan's order seeking the resignation of the VCs of nine universities by today.
According to the Public Relations Office of Kerala, Governor AM Khan upheld the verdict of the Supreme Court, and directed Vice Chancellors of nine varsities-- Kannur Univeristy, Univesity of Kerala, Mahatama Gandhi University, APJ Abdul Kalam University, University of Calicut, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, and Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University to tender their resignations by 11.30 am today.
Reacting to this order, LoP Satheesan said that it is understood that the Governor has taken the decision in the context of the top court's verdict of cancelling the appointment of the Technological University Vice Chancellor.
He further claimed that Kerala's sector of higher education is in the "state of collapse" and alleged that the VCs had made appointments through back door.
"The state's higher education sector is in a state of collapse and there is complete uncertainty in the higher education sector. The vice-chancellors made their own people and favorites only to make back-door appointments. The opposition had pointed this out several times," he said.
He mentioned that the UGC standards for VC appointment are "very precise" and the search committee should consist of academians, he said.
However, the state law minister P Rajeev hit back at the Governor and said that it is nowhere mentioned in any regulation of UGC which states that the Chancellor should be the Governor.
This came while AM Khan pointed out the issue of the VC appointment to various universities in Kerala and said that the Supreme Court itself had earlier made it clear that the appointment of the vice-chancellors was the responsibility of the Governor.
Meanwhile, Kerala Higher Education Minister R Bindu also hit back at Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and said that his order demanding the resignation of the vice-chancellors of nine universities in the state was unfortunate.
Addressing the media on Sunday, R Bindu said, "The governor's action is a unilateral one. The order, which was taken without consulting the government, is regrettable." (ANI)