THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid the Kerala University-DLitt controversy, a meeting of the Syndicate has come out in support of Vice-Chancellor V P Mahadevan Pillai in the row. Since the emergency meeting was convened at the behest of Left-affiliated Syndicate members, the support given to the vice-chancellor appointed by the LDF government was on expected lines.
Though there were reports that a few Syndicate members had proposed passing a resolution against the Chancellor (Governor) for his critical remarks on the vice-chancellor, such harsh measures were not adopted reportedly at the request of the latter. Instead, it was decided to adopt a path of consensus to resolve the row which was triggered after the vice-chancellor turned down the governor’s recommendation that the varsity should confer honorary DLitt on President Ram Nath Kovind.
According to a Syndicate member, the vice-chancellor informed the meeting of the protocol and legal issues relating to the governor’s proposal to confer DLitt on the first citizen of the country. A few Syndicate members criticised the governor for leaking the Vice-Chancellor’s letter turning down the proposal.
However, the lone UDF-affiliated member in the Syndicate R Arun Kumar pointed out the impropriety on the part of the Vice-Chancellor in giving a letter on plain paper to the Chancellor on such an important matter. “The vice-chancellor requested (members) at the meeting that the university should end the present controversy and disputes that have arisen out of it and move forward. The Syndicate endorsed his stance and decided to work in coordination with the Chancellor,” said K H Babujan, a CPM-affiliated Syndicate member.
Meanwhile, the governor clarified that he had not criticised the vice-chancellor of the University of Kerala but the language used in his letter to him. He said it was wrong for the vice-chancellor to turn down the DLitt recommendation without convening a meeting of the Syndicate. On the vice-chancellor’s statement implying that his letter was written under pressure, the governor asked whether inquiring about the outcome of a task entrusted to him could be portrayed as exerting pressure. He added that only the vice-chancellor could explain what he meant by pressure or under what mental state he was at that time.
In signs of a thaw in the frosty relations, the governor said he was satisfied with the government’s response after he went public with certain issues. He said the chief minister has written three letters to him clarifying the government’s stance.