KOCHI: The new LDF government is gearing up to replace nominated members in the Syndicate of various universities in the state with its own nominees so as to wrest control of them. The first signals in this regard were seen at two universities in the state. These are MG University and Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat).
The employees of the Left organisations in these varsities did not permit the meeting of the Syndicates after election results were declared. They alleged that the Syndicate members are trying to implement their own agenda and that of the UDF. They also said that the Syndicate should transact business as per the new higher education policy to be declared by the government.
According to higher education circles, all the Syndicate members of MG University, Kannur and Kalady Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit are nominated members and they can be easily replaced by the government through an order to wrest control.
Majority of Syndicate members in Cusat are nominated, while in Kerala and Calicut, five members each are nominated and if they are replaced, the control of these Syndicates would be taken by the Left. The control of Kerala Agriculture University, Veterinary University and Fisheries University too can be wrested in this manner.
Going by precedent, a change in Vice-Chancellors is unlikely. According to Prof N. Jayakumar, member of the Syndicate of the MGU, the current act of the Left unions in not allowing the functioning of existing Syndicates was undemocratic.
“If the new government replaces the Syndicate through an order, then that is fine. But not allowing the existing Syndicate to transact business amounts to disrupting the functioning of the university. Because of that several students, teachers and employees get affected," Prof Jayakumar said.
He said that because of the disruption, the approval process for colleges and courses at MGU has been affected. "Awarding of PhDs too has been hit apart from condonation in attendance shortage cases and transfer application of students," he said.