Walkout in Kerala Assembly over pact with colleges

Kerala`s Congress-led opposition Thursday walked out of the state assembly over what it termed a serious flaw in the pact between the state government and self-financing medical colleges in the state.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala`s Congress-led opposition Thursday walked out of the state assembly over what it termed a serious flaw in the pact between the state government and self-financing medical colleges in the state.

Seeking leave for an adjournment motion, Congress legislator V.D. Satheesan said a student has to pay Rs.10 lakh for an application form to write the entrance examination for admission under the management quota in private colleges.

"In these 11 medical colleges, there are 580 seats in the management quota. Due to this hefty application fee cost, a mere 720 candidates wrote the exam," Satheesan said.

Previously, any student willing to pay the capitation fee of upwards of Rs.25 lakh could sit for the entrance exam. From this year, aspirants have first to pay Rs.10 lakh for the application form for the entrance exam and if selected, then pay the capitation fee, which could be adjusted against the amount already paid.

"Another major flaw is that if after subsequent allotments, a candidate moves up the rank list by virtue of his merit, he has to pay a hefty penalty. These are major flaws in the agreement the state government has with these colleges," he added.

Of Kerala`s 18 medical colleges, 11 are in the private sector, five are state run and two are in the cooperative sector.

Satheesan also alleged that the state government had played into the hands of the private managements and given them a free hand, besides enabling private colleges in the neighbouring states to flourish.

"Due to the flawed agreement, more than 30,000 Kerala students wrote the entrance examination to private colleges in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka," he said.

Responding to this, Law Minister M Vijayakumar, deputising for Education Minister MA Baby, said there was no reason for panic as the last date for closure of admissions was Sep 30.
"With regard to the allegation raised by Satheesan about the cost of Rs.10 lakh to get an application form to write the entrance examination, this will be inquired into and suitable action will be taken," he said.

Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy lashed out at the government for its lack of seriousness and commitment to the student community.

"We would have understood if this was the first time you have had problems in managing these self-financing professional colleges. But sadly this is the fifth allotment that your government is making since coming to power," said Chandy.
With Speaker K Radhakrishnan refusing to admit the adjournment motion, Chnady led the entire opposition out of the house.

IANS

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