THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Softening his strident stance on the Kerala University DLitt controversy, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has welcomed Higher Education Minister R Bindu’s clarification that the government had no role in turning down his recommendation to confer the honorary degree on President Ram Nath Kovind.
The governor told reporters on the sidelines of a programme here on Tuesday that he was happy that the government had begun to understand the seriousness of the matter. He also underscored that he would not tolerate indiscipline or political interference in universities if he continued as Chancellor.
“I had given a clear-cut direction to call a meeting of the Syndicate (to discuss the DLitt proposal). But the meeting was not called and such a reply was given to me (by the vice-chancellor). I thought somebody might be directing him,” the Governor said.
On Monday, Bindu said that the government had not intervened in the DLitt issue. She said the government need not be a party to the matter as it was to be sorted out between the Chancellor and the vice-chancellor. She added that the government did not give any direction to the VC regarding the Governor’s recommendation. Bindu had also said it was unfair to target an academician like V P Mahadevan Pillai over the letter he wrote to the Chancellor in his capacity as the VC.
Meanwhile, the VC came out with a statement implying that he had written the controversial letter, turning down the Chancellor’s recommendation, under pressure from the latter. “I am careful not to commit errors in the grammar and spellings of life,” Pillai said after errors in his letter to the Chancellor became fodder for trolls on social media.
‘Row could have been avoided if Guv handled issue transparently’
T’Puram: The controversies related to the conferring of DLitt on President Ram Nath Kovind could have been avoided if the Governor had handled the issue in a transparent manner, said Opposition leader V D Satheesan. Instead of leaking the reports from the Raj Bhavan, the government should have openly admitted that he had recommended conferring the DLitt on the President. “The governor was really supporting all the wrongdoings of the state government. Now, when their relations soured, the Governor openly admitted that he had faulted. ,” he said.
Lok Ayukta seeks response of govt
T’Puram: The Lok Ayukta has sought the responses of the government and Higher Education Minister R Bindu in connection with the reappointment of Gopinath Ravindran as Kannur University Vice-Chancellor. It was on the complaint filed by Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala that the Lok Ayukta division bench sought the explanations. Chennithala in his petition alleged that Bindu had written letters to the Governor pressing him to reappoint Gopinath as Kannur University VC. Arguing that the action of Bindu was tantamount to nepotism and misuse of power, Chennithala had sought the disqualification of the minister. The case will now be heard on January 18.