Political, communal factors delaying appointment of VCs

published on January 2, 2013

The infighting in the Congress party and the differences of opinion among the UDF constituents are delaying the appointments of Vice-Chancellors of universities in the state with the government failing to reach a consensus on the issue.

The Mahatma Gandhi University Vice-Chancellor’s post has been lying vacant since November 14, last year. The three-member committee had held several rounds of discussions and, at last, the meeting held on December 31, 2012, decided to submit a panel to the Governor for taking a decision.

The committee comprises  UGC nominee Anantha Krishnan, Senate member Satheesh Kochuparambil and Chief Secretary Jose Cyriac. The names included  in the list are A V George, a lecturer at Christ College, Irinjalakkuda, Gopakumar, assistant professor of Political Science, Kerala University  and V Prasanna Kumar, Professor of Geology, Kerala University.

George was the nominee of the Kerala Congress (Mani). When his name was included, Anantha Krishnan had put a dissent note saying that he was not eligible for the post as per the UGC norms. This was for the first time that the MG University had invited application for the post of the VC.

 MG University Syndicate member Sherafudeen said that such a situation had never arisen in the past in which a tug-of-war between the political parties for the post had come out in the open.

The committee was not able to find out an eligible candidate for the post and this had resulted in  MG University functioning without a head.

“When a VC retires from service, the successor will assume charge the next day as the eligible candidate will have been identified much earlier. Now, all the universities in Kerala are facing the same situation with the infighting badly affecting the students of Kerala,’’ he said.

Kerala University Syndicate member Sasikumar said that similar issues are cropping up in Kerala, Kalady and Kannur Universities and Cusat. Rather than qualification, communal and political factors are being given high priority in the appointments of VCs.

Though the Kerala University VC’s post was lying vacant since December 14, the government is yet to constitute a committee for the appointment of the VC.

If the present situation continues, Kerala University too will have the same fate of the MG University, which has to function without a VC.

 Though there was an earlier agreement to appoint Congress nominees in Kerala and Kaladay Universities and Cusat; IUML nominee in Kannur and Kerala Congress (M) nominee in MG University, a consensus is yet to be reached.

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