Proposal for D.Litt to President allegedly rejected

Proposal for D.Litt to President by Kerala University allegedly rejected

New dimension to Governor-government row in Kerala

President Ram Nath Kovind. Credit: PTI Photo

The row between Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the CPM-led Left Democratic Front government in Kerala attained new dimension on Friday with the Congress alleging that a recommendation of the Governor to award honorary D.Litt to President Ram Nath Kovind was rejected by the Kerala University.

Congress senior leader and former opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala asked the government and the University to clarify whether the proposal for awarding D.Litt to the President was rejected by the university following the government's intervention.

Kerala Higher Education Minister R Bindu reject the allegation. She said that the government would not interfere in the University's powers to award D.Litt degrees.

The Congress leader came out with the allegation after the Governor, who is also the chancellor of the universities in the state, said the other day that the issues between him and the government even involved matter affecting nation's integrity and nation's prestige. He however did not specify the matter.

Chennithala also asked the government and the university to clarify whether the government had the rights to intervene in the university's autonomy on matters pertaining to awarding honarary D.Litt.

The President was on a visit to the state last week.

The fresh row in sequel to the differences between the Governor and the state government. Governor Khan recently alleged of political pressure on him on matters pertaining to appointments of vice-chancellors of universities, especially the extension given to Kannur University vice chancellor Gopinath Raveendran. The Governor also sent a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan suggesting that the Chief Minister may take over the chancellor post from the Governor. But the Chief Minister strongly rejected the Governor's allegations.

The Governor was sticking to his stand and even refused to accept a notice sent by the High Court to the Kannur University chancellor maintaining that he already relinquished the chancellor post.

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