Kerala: SFI, Left union activists prevent new Kalam varsity V-C from assuming office

The other day, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had issued an order that Ciza Thomas, senior joint director with the State Technical Education Department, will function as the V-C of the varsity pending appointment of a regular V-C.

Khan appointed Ciza as the V-C disregarding the state government recommendation to hand over the charge to higher education Principal Secretary Ishita Roy.

Activists of the SFI and pro-Left employee unions raised slogans against the newly appointed V-C, registering their protest against the Governor’s decision. Ciza had to seek police protection to enter the office. However, the protesters did not let her sign the official register, a formality to assume charge.

Ciza told the media that the protest of the university employees shocked her. “I was given additional charge as the V-C. For the conduct of the exams and to protect the interests of the students, the University should have a V-C. I would act to protect the interests of the students,’’ she said.

On October 21, the Supreme Court had declared that the appointment of Dr M S Rajasree as the V-C of the technological university was illegal and against the UGC norms. Next day, the government had recommended IAS officer Ishita Roy be given the additional charge, but the Governor appointed Ciza on a temporary basis.

Relying upon the SC order, the governor had also asked V-Cs of 10 other universities to step down. The V-Cs then moved the high court, which is yet to take a decision.

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