THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Assembly on Tuesday passed the University Laws (Amendment) Bill to replace the Governor as the Chancellor of universities in the state and appoint eminent academicians in the top post, while the opposition UDF boycotted the House for not accepting its suggestions regarding the bill.
''The bill is passed,'' Speaker A N Shamseer said.
The bill was passed after hours long discussions during which the Congress-led UDF said it was not opposed to the removal of the Governor as Chancellor, but he should be selected from amongst retired Supreme Court judges and former Kerala High Court chief justices.
The opposition also said there need not be different Chancellors for each of the universities and that the selection panel should comprise the Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition (LoP) and the Kerala High Court Chief Justice.
However, state Law Minister P Rajeeve said that a judge cannot be a part of the selection panel and the Speaker would be a better option.
The minister also said being retired judges cannot be the sole option for being appointed at the helm of universities.
In view of the stand taken by the government, the opposition said it was boycotting the House proceedings as it feared that the state government was attempting to turn universities in Kerala into Communist or Marxist centres by appointing their favourites at the helm.
The bill was introduced in the House amidst the continuing tussle between Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the Pinarayi Vijayan government over various issues, including the appointment of Vice-Chancellors of universities.