Will Not Allow Nepotism In Appointments In State Universities: Kerala Gov. Arif Mohammad Khan

Earlier he alleged that all appointments in the state-run universities are "illegal" and the universities have become fiefdoms of the party cadre.

Arif Mohammad Khan
Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan. (Image: Twitter/ANI)

Kochi : The tussle between Kerala Governor Arif Mohd Khan and the Pinarayi Vijayan government seems to be continuing as the former on Monday said that he would not allow favouritism and nepotism in appointments in state universities.

Talking to the media here today, the governor said, “It is my duty to ensure that appointments on basis of favouritism and nepotism are not allowed. As long as I am here, I will not allow that. Only people who are qualified, and meet all the requirements of the UGC will be appointed.”

The governor further said “If somebody sitting in CM’s office is directing VC to appoint his relatives and if the CM doesn’t know about it, shows how incompetent he is. If he knows about it, then he is equally guilty.”

“The leadership will have to take moral responsibility. I have said again and again that I am not looking for personal vindication. There is no personal fight with anybody. My job is to ensure that the law of the land is upheld and the Universities are free from executive interference,” he added.

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Earlier on November 15, he alleged that all appointments in the state-run universities are “illegal” while also adding that the universities have become fiefdoms of the party cadre.

“Why don’t you raise the issue that until last year Kerala had 13 universities and all appointments are illegal? Is there any other state where 100 per cent of appointments have been done in violation of the law? Universities have become fiefdoms of the party cadre and their relatives,” the Governor had alleged.

He had further stressed that he would resign if he can be countered with one instance where he interfered in the business of the government.

“Job to run Universities is with Chancellor, to run government is with the elected government. Give me one instance where I tried to interfere in the business of government, I shall resign that very moment. I can give you 1,001 examples where they interfered in the functioning of Universities daily,” he had said.

Earlier, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government sent an ordinance to Rajbhavan for the removal of Governor Arif Mohammed Khan from the post of chancellor of the state universities. Kerala Raj Bhavan had on November 12 confirmed that it received the ordinance to remove the Governor from the post of chancellor in various universities.

The Kerala Cabinet on November 9 decided to bring in an ordinance to remove governor Arif Mohammed Khan from the post of chancellor. The state Cabinet is planning to bring in an expert in place of the chancellor. The cabinet’s decision came after Governor sought the resignations of vice-chancellors of all nine universities in the state.

As per an order issued by the Kerala Governor, Vice-Chancellors of the University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Kannur University, APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, University of Calicut and Thunachath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University have been asked to resign from their posts.

Later the VCs of nine universities moved the High Court challenging the Governor’s order to tender their resignations.The Governor had also appointed Ciza Thomas as Vice Chancellor in-charge of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) in Thiruvananthapuram.

Meanwhile, the Vijayan government had requested the High Court to stay the appointment that was ordered by Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan, chancellor of the state universities.

However, the court on Tuesday declined to stay the appointment. The Supreme Court in October sacked Rajasree MS from the Vice Chancellor post citing a violation of UGC norms. A bench of justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar allowed the appeal filed by Professor Sreejith P.S. challenging the Kerala High Court order pronounced on August 2, last year.