Kerala govt to bring in Ordinance to divest Governor of Chancellor's powers

An ordinance will be introduced to facilitate the appointment of academic experts to the post of Chancellor in each university.
Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan (File Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)
Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan (File Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government will bring in an Ordinance to remove the Governor as Chancellor of state universities. The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet here on Wednesday after the confrontation between Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the LDF government reached the boiling point.

Confirming the decision, Higher Education Minister R Bindu said the Ordinance would pave the way for the appointment of "academicians of repute" as Chancellors in various universities. She said the decision was part of the government's ongoing reforms in the higher education sector. The Minister also hoped the Ordinance would get the Governor's assent.

Recently, a commission appointed by the government recommended that the Chancellor must be "a person of eminence who has distinguished herself/himself in public life through a lifetime of excellence and leadership".

The government's decision to implement the Commission's recommendation to remove the Governor as Chancellor was reportedly due to Khan's interventions in the appointment of Vice Chancellors. Recently, the Governor had asked 10 Vice Chancellors to step down after the Supreme Court ruled that appointment of a Vice Chancellor in violation of UGC regulations was "void ab-initio".

Earlier, during the height of the confrontation with the government over Vice-Chancellor appointments, Khan had said that he was ready to sign an Ordinance that would remove him from the Chancellor's post and asked the Chief Minister to take up the role of Chancellor. However, the government persuaded the Governor to continue in the post. The government's change of stance came after the confrontation with Khan intensified in recent months.

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The New Indian Express