Proposal to confer DLitt on President Kovind: Kerala University VC’s letter validates Opposition’s charge

The VC's letter adds credence to Opposition allegation that the proposal of conferring the honorary degree on the President was the real bone of contention between the Governor and the LDF government.

Published: 08th January 2022 02:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2022 02:31 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala University, University of Kerala

Image of Kerala University used for representational purpose. (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM  A letter by Kerala University Vice-Chancellor VP Mahadevan Pillai has confirmed the Opposition’s claim that Governor Arif Mohammad Khan had recommended conferring honorary D.Litt degree on President Ram Nath Kovind but the varsity turned it down. The letter also revealed that no formal discussion was held by the varsity Syndicate on the matter before the proposal was rejected. 

The letter, written by the Vice-Chancellor on plain paper and addressed to the Chancellor (Governor) on December 7 refers to a meeting between him and the Governor a week ago in which the proposal to confer the honorary degree on the President was reportedly discussed. 

“I have discussed with several members of the Syndicate about the matter of conferring DLitt Degree to his Excellency the President of India. The members of the Syndicate turn (sic) it down,” the Vice-Chancellor said in the letter.

A day after receiving the Vice- Chancellor’s letter, the Governor shot off a terse letter to the Chief Minister expressing anguish over the alleged political interference in university affairs. He also expressed willingness to relinquish the post of Chancellor of state universities. 

The Vice Chancellor’s letter has also added credence to the Opposition’s allegation that the proposal of conferring the honorary degree on the President was the real bone of contention between the Governor and the LDF government. While the Governor had neither confirmed nor denied the Opposition’s charge, the government had maintained that it had not interfered in the university’s affairs. 

Leader of the Opposition VD Satheesan criticised the manner in which the Governor’s proposal was rejected by the Vice-Chancellor. Satheesan said the matter should have been formally placed before the Syndicate for discussion and the decision ratified by the Senate. Instead, the Vice-Chancellor discussed it informally with a few Syndicate members and turned down the recommendation, he alleged. 


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