KUFOS Vice Chancellor says the candidates who were selected for the posts were adequately qualified
The appointment to two senior posts in the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (KUFOS) has kicked up a storm with the Save University Campaign Committee taking up the issue with the Kerala Governor.
The committee alleged instances of nepotism and malpractices in the appointments to the post of Dean (Fisheries) and Director (Research).
It was alleged that the wife of the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar-in-Charge of the University were appointed as the Dean (Fisheries) and Director (Research) and a meeting of the governing council of the university, which was chaired by the Vice Chancellor ratified the appointments. It was further alleged that the selection committee for the two posts were constituted by the Vice Chancellor himself.
The committee approached the Governor, who is also the chancellor of the university, with a prayer to initiate action against those responsible for the appointments and to nullify the selection and appointments.
Dismissing the allegations as baseless, K. Riji John, the Vice Chancellor said the candidates, who were selected for the posts were adequately qualified for the job.
Initially, the university invited applications for the five posts including that of the Director (Extension) and the Directors of two schools. A corrigendum was issued stopping the recruitment process of the post of the School directors as they were elevated to the post of the Dean in the ordinance that was promulgated in February 2021.
The post of Director (Extension) was put on hold after the delay in getting the nomination of an interview board member from ICAR as required by the university statute. The interview for the post will be conducted shortly, he said.
The other posts were advertised in two major Malayalam dailies and an English daily and the notifications were publicised in the university website and the last date for submitting the applications was extended by 10 days after the publication of the corrigendum. Only one candidate each turned up for the posts of Dean (Fisheries) and Director (Research), who were interviewed by the panel constituted for the purpose. The statute of the university stipulates that the Vice chancellor shall constitute the interview panel and it was followed in both the cases, he said.
Being the wife of the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar-in-Charge of the University need not come as a disqualification for the candidates, who had excellent track records.
“While I kept myself out of the interview panel for the post of Dean (Fisheries) for which my wife had appeared as a candidate, I was part of the interview board for the post of Director (Research) and there is nothing improper in the proceedings,” he said.