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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Kerala govt. initiates steps to identify V-C for KTU; proposes five-member panel without Chancellor’s nominee

The Kerala government has raised eyebrows by constituting a search-cum-selection committee for the Vice-Chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU).

Interestingly, the notification outlines a five-member composition for the panel, which seems to align with the provisions of the University Law (Amendment) Bill, 2022. The Bill, however, awaits the President’s assent, along with three other Bills. Notably, the notification does not allocate a position for the Chancellor’s nominee. There are two slots for government nominees.

Around two months ago, the KTU’s Board of Governors (BoG) defied Governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s ultimatum to nominate a representative to the search-cum-selection committee being constituted by his office. The move comes as the Kerala High Court is considering a petition seeking orders to the Chancellor to urgently fill the vacant posts of Vice-Chancellor in universities.

The Higher Education department issued an order dated April 8 to constitute the search-cum-selection committee, comprising nominees of the University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman, Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) vice-chairperson, and KTU Syndicate, alongside two nominees from the State government.

Names furnished

The order also stated that the KSHEC and KTU have already furnished the names of their respective nominees to the government, while the name of the UGC nominee had been intimated to the office of the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the university. It added that the names of the members of the search committee will be issued separately on receipt of the name of the UGC chairman’s nominee.

The department cites Section 13(2) of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University Act, which mandates a search committee consisting of a member elected by the KTU BoG, a nominee of the All India Council for Technical Education, and the Chief Secretary. However, the Supreme Court ruling that the composition is not being in line with the UGC regulations has rendered the particular legislative provision inoperative, creating “a legislative vacuum.”

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