Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday stepped up his attack on the government on the ‘mark gift’ row at Mahatma Gandhi University, asking Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to shed his silence over the issue and order a judicial inquiry into the allegations.
Demanding the resignation of Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel, Mr. Chennithala said the Minister failed to provide answers to the seven questions that he had posed as part of the illegal decision taken by the varsity Syndicate to award moderation to failed B.Tech students. “The Minister claimed on Wednesday that his private secretary had only attended the inaugural session of the adalat conducted by the varsity to award the marks. However, visuals of his presence throughout the three-hour adalat were aired by the visual media on Thursday morning,” he alleged.
The Leader of the Opposition said the Minister’s private secretary and additional private secretary had also attended the ‘mark adalat’ held at APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University in violation of rules and regulations.
Violation of Act
Mr. Chennithala said the intervention of the Minister and his personal staff amounted to violation of the Act and statutes governing the universities. A decision on moderation could be taken only by the pass boards concerned in various subjects.
Refuting Mr. Jaleel’s allegation that the Syndicate of Calicut University decided to award a moderation of 20 marks to engineering students during the United Democratic Front’s rule in 2012, Mr. Chennithala said the moderation was given by the academic council and the Syndicate as part of clearing basic errors in the 2004 scheme and it was made part of the regulations. “It was given to all students and not to a few students alone as decided by Mahatma Gandhi University,” he said.
Responding to Mr. Jaleel’s allegations that the high marks scored by the son of a prominent leader in the interview for the Civil Services examination needed to be probed, Mr. Chennithala said the Minister was raising baseless allegations to cover up the embarrassment he was facing over the mark gift row.
Mr. Jaleel should not have dragged his son into the issue unnecessarily, he said.