Various Hindu organisations including the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam are now openly coming out to protest against the LDF Government’s decision to appoint an unqualified person as the Vice-Chancellor of the Sree Narayana Guru Open University.
The ‘Save University Campaign Committee’ said in a statement that the hasty formation of the Open University was only to accommodate the unqualified CPM supporters to various posts. A complaint has been submitted to the Governor against the appointment of PM Mubarak Pasha, who is said to be an unqualified person for the post of the VC.
The Save University Campaign also points out in the complaint to the Chancellor of the University, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, that all the appointments were against the rules of the University Grant Commission (UGC) and the university ordinance. The petition also seeks cancellation of appointments of those who are not eligible as per the UGC rules.
The Left government has appointed PM Mubarak Pasha as the first Vice-Chancellor of Sree Narayana Guru Open University. He is currently working as the Head of Governance and Strategic Planning at Oman-based National University of Science and Technology. It is alleged that Pasha was handpicked by the Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel, who faces severe allegations in the Kerala gold smuggling scam.
There are also allegations against the appointments of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar of the University. According to the UGC guidelines, a principal of a private college and later on the contract basis becoming a Director in the Academic Staff College of the University of Kerala, is not a professor. The complaint also alleges that his appointment as Pro VC is a violation of an ordinance issued by the government.
The complaint also states that the Private Secretary to the Minister of Higher Education, who has been appointed as the Registrar, is not familiar with the administration as defined by the UGC. It is alleged that all the appointments in the university, which was set up to uphold Sree Narayana Gurudeva’s philosophy and promote academic research, were done in the interest of the party.
Meanwhile, Vellappally Natesan, general secretary of SNDP, which was founded by Sree Narayana Guru, lashed out at the government over its controversial move. He said that with the appointment of an NRI as VC on the insistence of Minister KT Jaleel, the government has hurt the ‘Sreenarayaneeya’ community.
The Ezhava community leader said the government has rejected the Yogam’s demand that a person with profound knowledge in Sree Narayana’s philosophy should be made the V-C. Calling it a betrayal by the state government, Natesan said, “It is highly deplorable that the government repeated its stand of shooing away the backward community from seats of power. The appointment of V-C has left the community dejected. It has defeated the very purpose of establishing a university and thus blackened the image of the Left government.”
The BJP also protested against the Government. BJP state president, K Surendran, said that the appointment of Dr Mubarak Pasha as V-C was meant to further vote-bank politics. Traditionally, the Ezhava community is considered to be the major vote bank of the CPM.