Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan-led government engaged in tussle with the Kerala Governor over the functioning of Universities, had another setback today over the appointment of a professor at the Kannur University. The Kerala High Court said today that Priya Varghese does not possess sufficient teaching experience to be appointed as associate professor of Malayalam.
Priya Varghese is the wife of the Chief Minister’s private secretary KK Ragesh. The government had cancelled her appointment, citing nepotism.
The High Court asked for the appointment to be re-examined as it is not in keeping with University Grants Commission norms.
The court said a teaching experience of eight years is needed to apply for the post of associate professor and her teaching experience falls short.
The court also questioned how the University’s scrutiny committee had overlooked that.
Priya Varghese had conceded that she did not teach when she was pursuing her PhD.
The petition challenging her appointment was filed by Dr Joseph Scaria, an assistant professor from Changanassery, who was put second on the list.
Three days ago, the Kerala High Court cancelled the state government’s appointment of a vice-chancellor at a state university.
Mr Vijayan’s government, engaged in a tussle with Governor Arif Mohammad Khan over the functioning of universities, is trying to remove him as the Chancellor in various state universities.
Mr Khan has said that every issue will be decided on individual merits and decisions will be taken on the basis of the Constitution.
“I am not going to interfere in the business of the government. I am not going to interfere unless there is total collapse of the constitutional machinery. Fortunately, that situation does not prevail in Kerala,” Khan said.
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