Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.(Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

Kerala: University VCs likely to be ousted as UGC officials flag violations

Since Pasha ‘technically’ continues to be VC of Open University, the order may be binding on him as well even though he abstained from the hearing.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The stage is set for the ouster of four vice-chancellors by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan in his capacity as chancellor on the grounds that their selection was not in accordance with University Grants Commission (UGC) norms.

According to a top source, the expulsion of the VCs would soon follow as the next course of action after their hearings were conducted last week, as directed by the High Court. The views of the UGC representatives who attended the meeting were decisive as they have reportedly agreed that the selection of the VCs was not ‘in order’.

The hearings were conducted last Friday for Vice-Chancellors M K Jayaraj of Calicut University, M V Narayanan of Sanskrit University, Saji Gopinath of Digital University and P M Mubarak Pasha of Sree Narayana Guru Open University. Even though Pasha skipped the hearing and stepped down from the VC post, the Governor has not accepted his resignation.

“The orders will be issued soon, as the High Court had given the chancellor a time frame of six weeks from January 25 to hear the Vice-Chancellors and pass final orders,” said the source.

Since Pasha ‘technically’ continues to be VC of Open University, the order may be binding on him as well even though he abstained from the hearing.

Notably, the High Court had ruled that the orders to be passed by the Chancellor on the show-cause notices would not be given effect for 10 days from the date of passing of the order. “This will give the vice-chancellors sufficient time to appeal against the chancellor’s order,” the source said.

Notice issued in Oct 2022

The Raj Bhavan had issued the show-cause notices to 11 Vice-Chancellors, in October 2022 in the wake of a Supreme Court order. The apex court had annulled the appointment of M S Rajasree as vice-chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU).

Since seven of the 11 VCs had either completed their tenures or were expelled following court verdicts, the hearing was held for the remaining four.


  • M K Jayaraj: Calicut University

Search panel, that proposed his name, included the Chief Secretary

  • M V Narayanan: Sanksrit University

Sole name proposed by search committee instead of a panel of names

  • Saji Gopinath: Digital University & P M Mubarak Pasha - SNG Open University

Directly appointed by the state govt without creation of search panel

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The New Indian Express