Kerala's cabinet is asking the governor to issue an ordinance removing him as chancellor of universities.
The state cabinet decided on Wednesday to ask Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan to issue an ordinance removing him as sole chancellor of state universities.
The government must replace Khan with "renowned academic experts" as presidents of various universities. However, a decision was made as to whether or not the government would appoint a separate rector for each of the country's 14 universities.
The government seemed to have opened up a new political and legal approach to the Left Democratic Front's (LDF) struggle with Khan over the governance of state universities.
On the one hand, the proposed regulation would remove Khan's powers as chancellor in one fell swoop and exclude Raj Bhavan from all aspects of university administration.
The Cabinet cited that the MM Punchhi Commission, established in 2007 to review center-state relations, had opposed giving governors chancellor powers.
The Cabinet affirmed that the Legislative Assembly created the position of Rector and woven the laws into the founding statute that established the state universities. Thus, the Assembly had strong authority to withdraw the Governor's powers as chancellor.
The Cabinet announced that the Punchhi Commission had mistaken that state governments should refrain from burdening governors with the role of chancellor of universities so that the additional authority does not prevent them from fulfilling their constitutional obligations.
The cabinet's decision was not a surprise. On Sunday, CPI(M) Secretary of State MV Govindan indicated that the meeting would go some way to insulating the judicial autonomy of universities from Mr. Khan's alleged transgressions.
The three-day CPI(M) Governance Conference, chaired by Mr. Govindan, highlighted tensions caused by Mr. Khan's continued tenure as Chancellor, as well as grappling with the persistent issue of reducing his powers.
The CPI(M) also appeared to be guided by the DMK-led Tamil Nadu government's alleged consideration of a similar move following a series of disputes with the neighboring state's governor over various issues related to university administration.relationships soured
The momentous Cabinet decision came as relations between the government and the governor hit rock bottom.
Earlier, Khan had controversially rescinded his enthusiasm for the resumption of Finance Minister KN Balagopal. He accused the minister of making inflammatory statements and repeatedly engaged in a bitter confrontation with Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Khan had also thrown down the gauntlet to the LDF authorities by calling for the deputy foreign ministers to resign because the Supreme Court had found flaws in their appointment procedures.
He justified his controversial order by saying that the federal government had appointed them through the same process that the Supreme Court found illegal in the case of Vice Chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam University of Technology (KTU).
On Tuesday, the Kerala High Court provided some help to the government by swiftly stopping the chancellor from issuing final orders on display activation notices he has issued to deputy chancellors.
According to some reports, if Mr. Khan disagreed with the decree and withheld its enactment, the government would submit a bill to the assembly.Objection to the bill
However, it may not be a clean path for the LDF in the congregation. Opposition leader VD Satheesan dashed government hopes for a unanimous vote to curtail the governor's powers by saying the UDF would oppose a possible bill to remove the governor from the post of chancellor.
He mentioned that the LDF measure was ill-intentioned and conspiratorial. The CPI(M) strove to put their favorites in chancelleries to take full control of the higher education sector, to promote partisan political interests along with nepotism in appointments.
However, Satheeshan's opposition, the LDF, is confident it has the numbers to get a bill to remove Khan as university rector through the assembly.
In addition, several members of the LDF, along with the CPI, have joined the governor's alleged usurpations of the judicial autonomy of the Centers for Advanced Studies.