KOCHI: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed has asserted that state Higher Education Minister R Bindu has no authority to write to him seeking service extension of Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University, Gopinath Raveendran.
Addressing the media at the airport here on Friday night, he reiterated that there was politics involved in the selection of Vice Chancellors in the state universities.
He also affirmed that there was no change in his decision to step down from the post of Chancellor.
“…I am not able to work in this environment where I find too much political interference in the working of the university and the autonomy of the university is being completely eroded. Conflict comes when you assert your authority against some other authority. I have requested that you bring an ordinance, you become the chancellor, let anybody become the chancellor, but for me it is not possible to see this kind of political interference…I have already said it,” Khan said.
Slamming Bindhu over her letter on VC reappointment, he said, “The Minister does not have any authority to write to the Governor. Only the search committee has the authority to select the Vice Chancellor. It’s not my job to reply to the minister.”
The Governor and the opposition parties including the Congress have been attacking the Left government over Bindhu’s alleged intervention in the re-appointment of Raveendran as Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University, saying it was an “infringement” upon the authority of the chancellor.
A copy of the Higher Education Minister’s purported letter to the Governor seeking re-appointment of Raveendran for a continuous term from November 24, 2021 also surfaced recently triggering a political row in the state.
Recently, the Kerala High Court had dismissed a plea against the re-appointment of Raveendran for the post of VC.
The court had said that the re-appointment was different from appointment and the procedure adopted for the latter need not be followed when re-appointing someone.
The Congress party has moved the division bench against the single bench order.