Kerala varsity officials in the dock for irregularities

Appointment row: Save University Campaign Committee files plaint

Published: 14th July 2021 06:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2021 06:52 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala University Malayalam Lexicon editor Poornima Mohan speaking to media at her office on Monday (Express Photo | BP Deepu)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Save University Campaign Committee, which brought to the fore alleged irregularities and nepotism in the appointment to the Malayalam lexicon editor’s post in the University of Kerala, has approached the State Police Chief with a complaint against the varsity officials.  The committee - a collective of education activists - has accused

Vice Chancellor V P Mahadevan Pilliai and the then Registrar-in-charge C R Prasad of entering into a ‘criminal conspiracy’ to alter the eligibility criteria. It is alleged the criteria was altered to facilitate the appointment of H Poornima, wife of R Mohan - officer on special duty at the chief minister’s office.

The committee alleged that the Syndicate was reduced to a mute spectator in the entire episode. On the recommendations of the vice chancellor, the Syndicate meeting held on December 29, 2020, decided to appoint a lexicon editor on deputation basis from among professors or associate professors in universities. “However, the eligibility criteria was altered by including professors in Sanksrit also among the eligible applicants. The notification was not circulated in university departments or published in newspapers,” the Save University Campaign Committee said in a statement.

“H Poornima, the only applicant, was called for the interview on May 6 and the selection committee declared her as eligible for the post. Interestingly, the then Registrar and Malayalam professor C R Prasad, who altered the eligibility criteria in the notification, was also one of the two subject experts in the panel,” it said. Based on university records, the committee alleged that the decision on Poornima’s appointment was ratified by the Syndicate by hiding her qualifications or current position. 

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has sought a report from the University of Kerala on the controversy surrounding the appointment of H Poornima as Malayalam Lexicon editor. The Save University Campaign Committee had petitioned the Governor urging him to quash the appointment. Alleging political interference in the appointment, the committee alleged that the provisions of the University Ordinance were illegally modified to suit the applicant.


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