In order to replace the governor as Chancellor of state universities and appoint eminent academicians to the top post, the Kerala Assembly passed the University Laws (Amendment) Bill today, while the opposition UDF boycotted the House for not accepting its suggestions.
Speaker A N Shamseer announced that the bill had passed.
During hours-long discussions, the Congress-led UDF said it was not opposed to removing the Governor as Chancellor, but that he should be selected from among retired Supreme Court judges and former chief justices of the Kerala High Court.
In addition, the opposition said the selection panel should consist of the Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition (LoP) and the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court rather than different Chancellors for each university.
According to state Law Minister P Rajeeve, a judge cannot be a member of the selection panel and the Speaker would be a better choice.
Additionally, the minister said that being a retired judge cannot be the only qualification for a university president’s position.
The opposition boycotted the House proceedings because it was concerned that the state government was attempting to turn Kerala’s universities into Marxist or Communist centers by appointing their favorites.
House members introduced the bill amid tussles between the Pinarayi Vijayan government and Governor Arif Mohammed Khan over various issues, including university vice-chancellor appointments.
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