From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Role of Governors in State Universities
Mains level : Issues with role of Governor
A controversy has erupted in Kerala over the reappointment of a person as the Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University, with Governor saying he approved the decision against his “better judgment” as Chancellor.
Role of Governors in State Universities
- In most cases, the Governor of the state is the ex-officio chancellor of the universities in that state.
- Its powers and functions as the Chancellor are laid out in the statutes that govern the universities under a particular state government.
- Their role in appointing the Vice-Chancellors has often triggered disputes with the political executive.
A disputed case
- In Kerala’s case, the Governor’s official portal asserts that while as Governor he functions with the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
- While acting as Chancellor he acts independently of the Council of Ministers and takes his own decisions on all University matters.
- In marked contrast, the website of Rajasthan’s Raj Bhawan states that the “Governor appoints the Vice-Chancellor on the advice/ in consultation with the State Government”.
What about Central Universities?
- Under the Central Universities Act, 2009, and other statutes, the President of India shall be the Visitor of a central university.
- With their role limited to presiding over convocations, Chancellors in central universities are titular heads, who are appointed by the President in his capacity as Visitor.
- The VCs too are appointed by the Visitor from panels of names picked by search and selection committees formed by the Union government.
- The Act adds that the President, as Visitor, shall have the right to authorize inspections of academic and non-academic aspects of the universities and also to institute inquiries.
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