The Left Democratic Front govt in Kerala proposed to amend the University Laws through a bill amending the existing legislation. The bill demanded the replacement of the Governor as the chancellor of universities in the state and the appointment of eminent academicians.
According to the Bill introduced by Law Minister P Rajeeve in the House- the govt should appoint an academician of high repute or person of eminence in any of the fields 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. The bill also mentioned the term of the Chancellor as five years from the date on which he assumes office. The Bill is said to have been prepared based on the recommendation of various expert panels like the Punchhi Commission.
According to the Opposition, the Bill was prepared hastily and did not abide by the UGC guidelines. Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan raising objection asserted that the Bill did not provide details of the age limit and the minimum educational qualification of the Chancellor. He alleged that approval of this Bill would destroy the autonomous status of the varsities and downgrade them into- mere govt departments.
Heavy tussle is being witnessed between the state government and the Governor Khan regarding the appointment of vice-chancellors to state universities. Khan in response to the bill highlighted the decision by the SC in appointment of the vice chancellor in West Bengal. In a recent SC verdict in the case of West Bengal, the apex court bench made it clear that the state govt had no authority in appointment of the Vice Chancellor.