Guv stands firm and upholds Priya’s appointment at Kannur University citing nepotism

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In a blow to the state government, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan used his powers as Chancellor of Universities to suspend the appointment of an associate professor at Kannur University on grounds of nepotism.

The Governor’s action comes a day after Kannur University Vice-Chancellor Gopinath Ravindran clarified to him that there was no irregularity in the selection process of Priya Varghese to the Department of Malayalam.

As Ms Varghese is the wife of KK Ragesh, who is a CPM leader and private secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the governor’s suspension order on the university union resolution is a blow to the ruling party. .

The Chancellor also suspended “any further proceedings in accordance with the selection procedure for the appointment of an Associate Professor to the Department of Malayalam, with immediate effect until further notice”.

The Chancellor invoked specific provisions of the Kannur University Act 1996 to issue the order. He also served show cause notices “on all stakeholders.”

A welcome order: Joseph Scariah
The candidate who would have been deprived of his legitimate chance welcomed the Governor’s decision.

Joseph Scariah, the candidate who placed second in the final list despite a search score of 651 to Priya Varghese’s 156, said he believed college nominations would become transparent eventually.

“The governor’s decision is only fair,” Joseph Scariah told Manorama News.

“I had filed a petition before the Governor on August 5. In addition, a few organizations such as Save University Campaign had also complained and it was perhaps on the basis of these petitions that the Governor sought clarification from CV.

“This order is a good message, and I hope there will be transparency in college appointments and such acts of nepotism will stop.”

VC cites university law, says no more
Shortly after the Governor’s order was issued, the Vice Chancellor called a press conference and hinted that they would challenge the suspension in court.

Gopinath Ravindran didn’t answer many questions during the press conference. Instead, he read the Governor’s Orders and Section 7(3) of the Kannur University Act.

“Here is what article 7 (3) of the law says,” Ravindran said before quoting the text.

“The Chancellor may, by order in writing, cancel any procedure of the university which is not in accordance with this Act and the statutes, ordinances, regulations, rules of the internal regulations.

“..provided that before making such an order the Chancellor shall, on such authority, justify why such order should not be made and consider the cause, if any, shown by such authority within a reasonable time. “

He declined to comment further and just clarified that “based on this directive, we can move the court.”

It is alleged that Ms Varghese had the worst search score among six applicants for the position in the Malayalam department.

However, she rose through the ranks after the interview conducted by a committee headed by the Vice-Chancellor. The information was revealed following an investigation by RTI.

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