Kerala Governor Arif defends action against VCs

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Sunday defended his action against Vice Chancellors (VCs) of 11 universities in the state, saying that he was only performing his constitutional duty to defend the law which was laid down by the Supreme Court.

Khan said there was no “other intention” or “controversy” behind the steps taken by him as he was only implementing the law laid down by the apex court and added that he has “no time to spend on petty fights”.

The top court on October 21 had quashed the appointment of the VC of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University saying that as per the University Grants Commission (UGC), the search committee constituted by the state should have recommended a panel of not less than three suitable people among eminent people in the field of engineering science to the chancellor but, instead it sent only one name.

Khan said that besides this, the apex court also ruled that according to UGC norms on VC appointments, the search or selection committee should not have a non-academic member.

“The Supreme Court was not hearing a matter on qualifications of a VC. They have not commented on that. They have said that the process which has been followed for appointing VCs was repugnant to the regulations of the UGC.

“The judgement does not deal with just one VC. They (SC) have laid down the law. I consider it my duty to defend and implement it if it is in my jurisdiction. Therefore, for me there is no controversy. I had no other intention. I am trying to do my duty as I am obliged to do. I do not have time to spend on petty fights,” he said.

Khan was speaking at an event organised by the World Malayali Federation in New Delhi.