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‘Won’t tolerate nepotism’: Kerala Governor stays appointment of Priya Varghese in Kannur University


Kannur: Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan used his powers as Chancellor, and has issued an order staying the appointment of CPM leader and Chief Minister’s private secretary KK Ragesh’s wife Priya Varghese in Kannur university. The governor took the move after Kannur university faced criticism for allegedly violating the rules to appoint the CPM leader’s wife in the post of associate professor in Malayalam department.

The governor informed on Wednesday that he will announce his decision on the varsity row within 30 minutes. The governor who is the chancellor of universities in Kerala declared that he will not tolerate nepotism while serving in the post. Following this, he issued an order staying the appointment of Priya Varghese. He also served a show cause notice to Kannur University Vice Chancellor Gopinath Raveendran over the appointment row.

On Sunday, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan asked Kannur University Vice-Chancellor for a report on alleged irregularity in the appointment of the wife of K.K. Ragesh as an associate professor of Malayalam after an RTI reply revealed that she scored the maximum marks in the personal interview. In June, Priya Varghese was cleared for appointment as an associate professor of Malayalam at Kannur University, after she was placed first among the six candidates who had appeared for the interview.

Incidentally, the RTI information that surfaced on Saturday revealed that Priya got the maximum marks (32 out of 50) in the personal interview, while the second-ranked candidate scored 30. The RTI information also revealed that her research score was a mere 156, while the second-ranked candidate secured 651. Priya was ranked first based on the personal interview and given the appointment order.

The Chancellor has also stayed ‘all further proceedings pursuant to the selection procedure for appointment of associate professor in the Department of Malayalam, with immediate effect until further orders’. The Chancellor invoked specific provisions in the Kannur University Act, 1996 in issuing the order. He has also served show-cause notices ‘to all stakeholders’.



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