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D Litt Row: Language of Kerala university VC shocked me, says Governor Arif Mohammad Khan

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The controversy over the Kerala University’s refusal to confer the D Litt on President Ram Nath Kovind refused to die down as Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Monday came down heavily on the Vice-Chancellor of the Kerala University, alleging that he was shocked by a letter written by the VC.

“I was shocked by the language of the letter used by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kerala and it took 10 minutes to recover from the shock,” he said to the media.

It was astonishing to note that a person in the VC rank could not even write two lines without making mistakes. Responding to the controversy over the unwillingness of the University of Kerala to confer the degree of D.Litt on the President at the instruction of the Raj Bhavan, he confirmed for the first time that he had instructed the VC to honour the President by conferring D Litt on him during a function here.

“In reply to the instruction, the VC responded that the university syndicate had turned down the proposal. When I asked to give it in writing, he handed over a two-line handwritten statement to the Governor. The language of the letter has shocked me as the VC of the oldest university in the country could not even write two lines without mistakes,” he said. Shocked by the turn of events, he had contacted the office of the chief minister, but he couldn’t talk with the chief minister, he said.

In fact, he had instructed the vice-chancellor of the Kerala University to discuss the matter with the university syndicate members. The existing rules say that any proposal for awarding a D.Litt should be either accepted or rejected by the meeting of the University Syndicate. But the VC didn’t discuss the matter with syndicate members and informed the Governor that the syndicate members rejected the proposal. It was clear from his message that the decision to turn down the proposal to confer the D Litt on President was taken at the insistence of someone outside, the Governor said.

When the proposal was turned down, he had written a letter to the Kerala Government and the government provided three letters to the Governor. While stating that he is yet to make a decision whether he should take up responsibilities of the Chancellor of the universities in Kerala, he said if he resumes his duties as Chancellor, he would work as a correctional force as it is his responsibility to discipline them, he told the media. 

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