On Wednesday, the University Laws (Amendment) Bill was tabled in the Assembly by the LDF government in Kerala. The new legislation aims to designate distinguished academics to the top position in lieu of the governor, who now serves as the state’s chancellor of universities. Law Minister P Rajeeve stated when proposing the Bill in the House that the Left Government made the decision to introduce the Bill after taking into account the advice of many expert panels, including the Punchhi Commission and other higher education committees.
The Bill, which the Opposition claimed was drafted in haste, allegedly violates the UGC guidelines, according to their allegations. The Vice-Chancellor of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Rajasree MS, was appointed by the Supreme Court despite the fact that it was against UGC regulations, the Leader of the Opposition VD Satheesan noted. He asserted that introducing a Bill in violation of the UGC standards will result in additional issues down the road.
The Bill was referred to the Subject Committee for additional discussion after a three-hour debate. The draught Bill to remove the governor from the position of chancellor and appoint independent chancellors to each of the state’s 14 universities was approved by the state cabinet last week. The current law will be changed so that each of the 14 universities will have its own Chancellor. Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and the government have clashed several times over appointments of vice-chancellors and teachers in varsities, prompting the latter to remove him from the chancellor’s post.