The Kannur University Syndicate passed a resolution against Governor Arif Mohammed Khan in a meeting on Thursday. The resolution said that the Governor’s decision to remove 9 Vice-Chancellors is a move to stall the higher education sector in Kerala. It also alleges that the Governor’s actions as Chancellor of the University of Kerala are illegal. The resolution was presented by N. Sukanya at the syndicate meeting.

“The state government is trying to make a big leap in higher education. The government is starting work to transform Kerala into a knowledge economy. At the same time, the Governor asked the Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University as well as 9 other VCs to resign,” the syndicate said in a statement.

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According to the syndicate, the governor rejected 26 amendments related to the university, creating hurdles for the administration of the university. The resolution also said that the syndicate meeting is protesting against the actions of the governor which is putting the university in a crisis which will adversely affect the future of the students.

Khan had earlier postponed the appointment of Priya Varghese as an assistant professor in the Kannur Malayalam University department due to alleged violation of norms and favouritism. She is the wife of KK Ragesh, a CPI(M) leader and personal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Varghese was allegedly appointed to the Kannur University post over other candidates who scored higher in terms of required qualifications such as teaching experience, published research papers, etc. She allegedly had the lowest eligibility score but scored better, than the other five , in the interview, which is the basis for the appointment. On August 13, it was reported that Varghese had scored far fewer points than fellow candidate Joseph Scaria. While Priya’s total score was 156, Scaria scored 651.

The vice-chancellors of a total of nine Kerala universities have been asked to resign and 15 senate members have been sacked by the governor’s office. Khan has served as Vice-Chancellor of nine universities namely University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Research, Kannur University, APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Sri Sankaracharya Sanskrit University, University of Calicut, Malayalam University Tunchat Ezhutachan, resign.

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