The Kerala Assembly on Thursday passed the controversial University Laws (Amendment) Bill 2022, which would result in curtailing the governor’s powers as chancellor of state universities. The opposition Congress-UDF boycotted the House proceedings before voting, alleging the government was trying to appoint ruling party “dolls” to key posts in varsities.
Announcing their boycott, Assembly leader VD Satheesan said the bill was an “insult” to the state’s higher education system. The bill would affect the autonomy of universities and set a wrong precedent in higher education, he complained before leaving the room.
However, Higher Education Minister R Bindu claimed the opposition and media propaganda that the bill would strip the governor’s powers was wrong. The bill was passed at a time when the ruling CPI(M) was facing charges of nepotism from opposition parties in connection with the appointment of a faculty at many universities across the state.
Read | Trafficked as child, teenage bride, Bangladeshi woman fights against opportunities to find independence, gets job at AmazonPay
The new bill would limit the power of the governor, who holds the position of chancellor, to appoint vice chancellors (VCs) of universities. Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the CPI(M)-led LDF government have been at odds for some time over several issues, including the appointment of the vice-chancellor of Kannur University.
Khan, in his capacity as chancellor, had also postponed the appointment of Malayalam associate professor at the same university, for the interview in which Priya Varghese, the private secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, KK Ragesh’s wife, was given the ringside.
Read all Latest education news and Important news here