CUK restrains faculty members from ‘anti-national lectures’

The Central University of Kerala (CUK) has issued a circular, asking its faculty members not to give provocative or anti-national lectures and statements.

The circular said that faculty members and employees should “abstain from giving any type of provocative lectures or statements that are anti-national and will be against the interests of the nation”. Strict disciplinary action would be taken against those who indulged in such activities in the future, said the circular, which was signed by the Registrar and issued with the approval of Vice-Chancellor H. Venkateshwarlu.

The Vice-Chancellor told The Hindu that the decision was taken by the executive council by taking into account previous controversies, which had created unnecessary resentment on the campus.

“We expect the faculty members to stick to their curriculum. To deviate from it and express their views or political opinions will create unnecessary resentment or friction among the students and workers,” he said.

“Let the students have an open debate or seminar, where they can express their opinions and view on various issues. However, the faculties should stick to their curriculum in the classes,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

Assistant Professor Gilbert Sebastian’s statement on April 19 that the RSS-BJP was a proto-fascist organisation and his criticism of the Union government’s policy of exporting COVID vaccines, had stirred a controversy.

One of the students raised a complaint against him with the university and also wrote to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. Following this, an inquiry committee formed to inquire about the issue suspended him.

The Vice Chancellor, however, revoked his suspension on June 10 after he expressed regret that his views in the class were misconstrued by others and brought unnecessary and unfavourable attention to the university.

However, the executive council expressed concern over the Vice Chancellor’s decision to withdraw the suspension.

The executive council in its 51st meeting, concluded that the statements by the Professor in the class were anti-national and the act called for his suspension.

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