Kerala varsity vice-chancellor’s appointment illegal: Supreme Court

In a setback to the ruling Left Democratic Front government in Kerala, the Supreme Court on Friday termed the appointment of Rajasree M S as the Vice Chancellor of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Thiruvananthapuram, “illegal” and “void from the beginning”.

In a setback to the ruling Left Democratic Front government in Kerala, the Supreme Court on Friday termed as “illegal” and “void from the beginning” the appointment of Rajasree M S as the Vice Chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Thiruvananthapuram.

The court was hearing an appeal filed by the former Dean of the Engineering Faculty of Cochin University of Science and Technology, Sreejit PS.

He had initially moved to the Kerala High Court, where his plea was rejected by a single bench and a division bench. While Sreejith claimed that the appointment does not comply with the UGC Regulations, 2010, the HC said that the UGC Regulations would not apply as the subsequent amendment to the Regulations made in June 2013 has not been expressly adopted by the State Government.

While setting aside the HC order, the SC, referring to its earlier decisions, said that the State Government adopted the UGC Regulations in October 2010 and “while assuming/accepting the UGC Regulations, it has been observed explicitly that … that all Universities shall incorporate the UGC Regulations. Within one month from the date of the said order, the Government shall take steps to amend their laws and regulations and the Acts of the Universities. Suppose the Regulations need to be enforced merely because the latter amendment has not been expressly adopted/accepted by the State. In that case, there cannot be a ground for the State to argue that the amendment to the Regulations is within the State/State and shall not be binding on the Universities… The appointment should always be of the Vice-Chancellor by the relevant provisions of the UGC Regulations as amended from time to time.

The decision stated that “by section 13(4) of the Universities Act, 2015, the (search) committee shall unanimously recommend a panel of not less than three suitable persons from amongst persons of eminence in the field of engineering sciences, who shall be the Chancellor / to be placed before the Vice-Chancellor. In the present case, the sole name of the Response No. 1 was recommended to the Chancellor. Also, per the UGC regulations, the Chancellor/Vice-Chancellor shall appoint the Vice-Chancellor from a panel of names recommended by the Search Committee.

Pointing out that the committee recommended the name of Rajshri only in the instant case, the bench said, “Therefore, when only one name was recommended, the Chancellor had no option to consider the names of other candidates.” Therefore, the appointment… can be said to be derogatory and contrary to the provisions of the UGC Regulations and the Universities Act, 2015.”


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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