Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 20 May 2024 1.59 PM IST

VC appointment: Govt planning to form more search committees


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government is planning to form search committees at various state-run universities just like how it formed a search committee on its own for the appointment of the Vice Chancellor of the Kerala Technological University (KTU). It has directed the fisheries and agriculture department secretaries to issue orders forming search committees in the fisheries and agriculture universities without a representative of the Governor. Efforts are also being made to issue similar orders in other varsities of the Higher Education Department. The government is planning to issue the orders by interpreting that as per Article 162 of the Constitution, the appointment of VC is under the jurisdiction of the government.

There are no VCs in Kerala, MG, CUSAT, Malayalam, Agriculture, Fisheries, Law, Technology and Kannur universities. The Governor was not able to form search committees as the government did not provide varsity representatives despite his repeated requests. In the case of Kerala University, the High Court had ordered that the Governor could take action on his own if the government did not provide a university representative.

Varsities all have their own rules and regulations and hence they cannot be overridden. The committee should have representatives of UGC, the university and the chancellor. However, the search committee formed by the government consists of one representative each from the UGC, the Vice-Chairman of the Higher Education Council, the Syndicate and two representatives from the government.

The Chancellor is supposed to appoint the VC, according to the Act of Agricultural Varsity. The government is planning to form a search committee by ignoring this. The UGC rule is that no one connected with the government should be on the search committee. However, two members of the new committee are government representatives.

Govt's aim is to re-appoint VC sacked by Supreme Court
By forming a five-member search committee on its own, the government is planning to re-appoint Dr MS Rajasree, who was sacked from the post of Technological University VC by the Supreme Court citing irregularities in appointment. She currently serves as the Director of Technical Education. As per UGC rules, she has 10 years of experience as a professor to become a VC. The government hastily issued an order forming its search committee after it learnt about the Governor initiating action to form a search committee on his own for the appointment of VC with the approval of the UGC.

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