Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has issued resignation notices to the vice-chancellors of 11 universities after they refused to send him resignation letters. The governor had earlier asked for the resignation of the vice-chancellors of nine universities, saying their appointment was not in accordance with UGC norms. He gave them a deadline of 11:30 a.m. Monday to tender their resignations. This was announced by the governor himself, who is also the chancellor of the state’s universities.

In addition to the nine universities, the governor also issued a show-cause notice to the vice-chancellor of Guru Sri Narayan Open University and Kerala University of Digital Science, Innovation and Technology.

After the venture capitalists refused to resign, saying the move by the governor was unprecedented, the governor sent them official notices. Khan said the notices were issued to uphold the Supreme Court’s verdict which had declared “null and void ab initio” any appointment to the post of Vice-Chancellor made on the recommendation of the Search Committee, which contravenes the provisions of the UGC Regulations.

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“Now, in the light of the Supreme Court’s decision, I should not declare your appointment ‘void ab initio,'” Khan said while addressing the media. He said that the vice-chancellor was given time to respond until November 3.

The Governor’s move has created a political frenzy in Kerala. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan issued a stern warning to Khan asking him not to overstep the bounds of his authority. The ruling LDF has also announced a two-day nationwide protest starting on Tuesday.

Khan rejected the CM’s allegations that natural justice was being denied to VCs. “I only offered an honorable exit. I did not fire them,” the governor said at a long press conference called to respond to the chief minister’s allegations against him.

The governor clarified that he is doing this in honor of the SC’s decision. According to Khan. The resignation of the nine VCs was demanded as some were appointed from a single-name list and others had the state’s chief secretary as a member of the selection committee, both of which were in violation of UGC norms, according to Khan.

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