Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala University senate passed a fresh resolution against its chancellor stating that no names will be nominated for the present search committee to find the next vice-chancellor of the varsity. According to the senate, the constitution of the search committee by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan violated the regulations. As many as 50 members supported the resolution while 7 voted against it.
Earlier, during a senate meeting on August 5, a resolution had been passed which said that the formation of the search committee unilaterally by the Governor was a violation of the university rules and that the committee should be disbanded. Even though the vice-chancellor had sent this resolution to the Governor, he did not respond. Subsequently, the senate passed another resolution on Friday. Pro-Left politicians had pointed out that withdrawing the first resolution by the senate would be considered as surrender by the state government before Khan in its tussle with him and also prove a political setback for the CPM.
The governor was irked by the action of the senate. He gave the university an ultimatum to choose its representative. Following this, majority senators stayed away from the next meeting. Governor sacked 15 of them. Incidentally, the Kerala High Court had recently rapped the senate for passing a resolution against the Chancellor and delaying the election of its representative to the search committee for a new vice-chancellor. In their challenge of their removal, the high court noted that the senate passing a resolution against the chancellor is unprecedented.
Curiously, the agenda of Friday’s senate meeting did not include the election of its representative to the search committee even when Higher Education Minister R Bindu had earlier made an announcement in this regard. According to senate members, choosing a representative without withdrawing the resolution passed in August could invite legal action. Kerala University syndicate member KH Babujan, when asked about Friday’s resolution, said, ‘Today we discussed if the senate should reconsider the stand taken on August 20. As per the resolution that was passed today, if the chancellor withdraws the notification, the senate will move forward to nominate its member’.