University Laws (Amendment) Bill introduced in Kerala Assembly to replace Governor as chancellor

On Wednesday, the Kerala government introduced the University Laws (Amendment) Bill in the Assembly to replace the Governor as Chancellor of universities in the state. The Bill was opposed by several opposition leaders as they claimed that it comprised aspects violating UGC guidelines.

Kochi,UPDATED: Dec 8, 2022 01:29 IST

Kerala Govenor Arif Mohammad Khan (Photo: File)

By Shibimol KG: The Kerala government on Wednesday tabled the contentious University Laws (Amendment) Bill in the Assembly to replace the Governor from the post of chancellor in the universities of Kerala. Kerala law minister P Rajeev introduced the bill in the assembly.

Opposition leader VD Satheesan objected, presenting the bill amendment, citing that it is against UGC guidelines and Supreme Court rulings. The opposition said, in reference to the Finance Memorandum, that there will be no additional financial burden from the consolidated funds of the state when these bills become law and come into force is not factual.

Noting that the Bill comprised aspects violating UGC guidelines, he said a new law won’t stand if it is introduced under the State Act against that of the directives of the apex higher education body.He also said the Bill could not be presented in the House as the Financial Memorandum was incomplete.

Law Minister P Rajeev replied that the points raised by opposition against the bill are mostly political.

“Kerala Kalamandalam model is what the state government intends to bring in. The appointment of Mallika Sarabhai as Chancellor is enough proof of this”, he said. “The governor continuing as chancellor of universities is a barrier to the free and transparent working of universities,”he added.

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Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, P C Vishnunath, T Siddique, Mathew Kuzhalnadan were among those opposition legislators who raised objections against the presentation of the Bill.

According to the amendment bill introduced in the assembly, the government shall appoint an academician of high repute or a person of eminence in any of the field of science including agriculture and veterinary science, technology, medicine ,social science , humanities, literature,art ,culture ,law or public administration as the chancellor of the university.

Chancellor is appointed for a period of five years and the person appointed as chancellor shall be eligible for reappointment for one or more terms. The chancellor may resign his office by an intimation in writing to the government . The bill has been sent for the consideration of the subject committee.

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