Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan asserts his tough stand against nepotism. He is appointing a high power committee of retired Chief Secretary or High Court Judge to inquire into the nepotistic appointments in the universities of Kerala during the last three years. The committee will be formed as soon as he returns from New Delhi. The decision should be viewed in the wake of the initiatives from CPM, Left Democratic Front and their fellow travellers to reduce the powers of the Governor as the Chancellor of the universities in the state. It is reported that Governor has received several complaints about the nepotistic appointments in all universities in the state.
CPM-dominated Kerala Varsity Senate has taken calculated steps to stall the Governor’s move to appoint search committee for selecting the next VC. Senate meeting met on August 20, 2022 omitted the selection of a Senate member, for the Search Committee appointed by the Governor, from its agenda. The VC selection process can be started only after the appointment of the Senate nominee for the Search Committee. Senate resolution says that Governor-appointed Select Committee is illegal.
Governor had stated that actions will be taken against the Kannur VC if he moves the court against him (Governor) who is the head of the varsity. VC had stated that he would move the court against Governor’s order staying the appointment of Priya Varghese, wife of Chief Minister’s Secretary K.K. Ragesh. Governor’s stay order came in the light of proven nepotism behind the appointment. Later on reports suggested that VC has taken a decision not to move the court immediately; matter will be studied before approaching the court !
Governor stated that Kannur VC behaves like a cadre member of the ruling party. University is not supposed to be the mere employer for the relatives of the ruling party leaders. He added that Kerala varsities look like forts of political dramas.
BJP president K. Surendran said that universities are reduced to CPM “fractions”. CPM should not dream of making the Governor a puppet by threatening him. When he takes action against the corruption and nepotism he is painted as an RSS agent.
LoP V.D. Satheesan said that Governor’s steps are in right direction.