Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has delayed the appointment of Vice Chancellor to University of Calicut, which is widely seen as a ploy to pass the date on which the government’s nominee crosses the age limit. Professor K M Seethi, the government’s nominee and faculty of Mahatma Gandhi University, will be sixty years old on Thursday, resulting in his losing the eligibility for the appointment to the post.
The Governor was delaying the decision regarding the appointment though the search committee had submitted its nomination nine days ago. It is learnt that the delay is owing to the pressure from the BJP and RSS leadership.
Sangh parivar circles were weighing in favour of Dr. C A Jayaprakash, Principal Scientist of Central Tuber Crops Research Institute at Thiruvananthapuram, as Vice Chancellor. As per the plan, Dr. Jagdish Kumar, JNU Vice Chancellor and UGC member of the search committee, had submitted a panel prioritising Dr. Jayaprakash.
Dr. K M Seethi was given priority in the panels submitted by Dr. VK Ramachandran - Planning Board Vice- Chairman and representative of the university- and Tom Jose, the Chief Secretary. Higher Education Minister Dr. K T Jaleel also met the Governor to convey the government’s interest. As the decision was getting delayed, the Chief Minister himself informed the governor of the government’s interest.
Though the government had asked to make the appointment before 28th May, the decision was delayed. As the the government nominee crosses the age limit, the Raj Bhavan can now consider the Sangh parivar’s wishes.
The CPM leadership was also blamed for not being prompt to intervene in the appointment of Dr. Seethi, who is also a Left fellow traveler. The VC appointment was delayed due to the repeated postponement of the search committee meeting. The meeting supposed to be held in the first week of the May, was delayed due to non-availability of VK Ramachandran and Tom Jose.
Thus the BJP was able to execute its agenda as the search committee meeting took place only on 18th May. The minutes of the meeting was submitted on 19th May. Earlier, in the case of the appointment Vice Chancellor to Kerala University of Health Sciences too, the government’s nominee had been rejected by the Governor in favour of the Sangh parivar nominee.