Appointment against guidelines, says UGC on CM Vijayan’s private secretary’s wife

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Appointment against guidelines, says UGC on CM Vijayan’s private secretary’s wife
 

Thiruvananthapuram: In a jolt to Priya Varghese — the wife of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s secretary K.K. Ragesh — the UGC has filed a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court that her appointment as an Associate Professor in Kannur University was against the guidelines of the UGC.

In its affidavit, the UGC has said that the period during which any candidate goes for PhD studies cannot be considered as experience. If the apex court accepts the UGC view, then the appointment of Varghese can run into trouble.

It was on June 22 last year that a division bench of the Kerala High Court overturned a single bench judgment that asked to re-scrutinize her appointment after the second-ranked candidate raised objections against her appointment, which according to the petitioner was in violation of the UGC guidelines.

The verdict of a Kerala High Court division bench in July last year went in Varghese’s favour following which she joined her new post.

The second-ranked candidate, however, approached the apex court and it was in this case that the UGC filed its counter affidavit.

With the apex court all set to go for its summer recess, in all likelihood, the case will now be heard after the break.

Varghese is the wife of Ragesh, a former Rajya Sabha member of the CPI(M) who hails from Kannur. He is considered a close aide of CM Vijayan and is presently his private secretary.

The controversy surfaced when an RTI query revealed that Varghese got the maximum marks (32 out of 50) in the personal interview, while the second-ranked candidate Jacob Skariah scored 30. Varghese’s research score was a mere 156, while the second-ranked candidate secured 651. However, Varghese was ranked first based on the personal interview.

 


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