Bindu, Balagopal aim barbs at Governor – The Hindu

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October 18, 2022 09:22 pm | Updated 09:22 pm IST – THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
Governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s “threat” to sack Ministers did little to deter them as Higher Education Minister R. Bindu and Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal on Tuesday aimed barbs at him by obliquely accusing him of destabilising the higher education sector.
Speaking at the launch of various infrastructure projects on the Kerala University’s Karyavattom campus, Dr. Bindu blamed various quarters for turning higher education institutions into centres of controversies. While certain people with vested agenda were behind such attempts, the government was resolved to proceed with its efforts to reform the sector.
While Mr. Balagopal too refrained from taking names, he accused certain groups of harbouring wrong notions about the universities in the State. “Some people who are accustomed to the practices in places such as Uttar Pradesh might not be able to understand the democratic nature in which universities function in Kerala,” he said while claiming Vice Chancellors in universities, including Banaras Hindu University, required protection by armed security personnel.
However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who inaugurated the projects, did not delve into the stand-off with the Governor. He instead focussed his address on the efforts being made by the government to turn the State into a hub of higher education.
Highlighting the high grading achieved by various universities from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Mr. Vijayan claimed higher education institutions in the State were on the “right track”. He, however, added there was much more to be done to prevent students’ exodus to other States and countries.
The government aimed to overhaul the sector by enhancing infrastructure, curriculum reform, and pedagogical techniques, he said.
The Chief Minister launched the work on projects worth ₹56 crore funded by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board. These include a research and development block, students’ hostels, and an extension of the Central Laboratory for Instrumentation and Facilitation on the campus. He also commissioned multimedia/theatre classrooms constructed at ₹11 crore.
Vice Chancellor V.P. Mahadevan Pillai and Pro Vice Chancellor P.P. Ajayakumar, whose tenures will conclude on October 24, were felicitated on the occasion.
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