The government has decided not to allow any new engineering college except in four districts with a saturation point having been reached and many of the 3.4 lakh seats in 716 colleges remaining unfilled.

In four districts

New colleges will now be granted permission in Adilabad, Mahabubnagar, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts which have limited number of engineering institutions.

In these districts too, only reputed trusts, charitable institutions, international agencies and State/Central governments will be allowed to establish them.

No second shifts

A decision to this effect was taken by the Cabinet at its meeting here on Wednesday. Briefing reporters later, Information Minister D. K. Aruna said a comprehensive legislation to restrict the present indiscriminate growth of engineering colleges and bringing all of them under one umbrella -- Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University -- would be adopted in the forthcoming Assembly session.

The All-India Council for Technical Education would be asked to curtail second shift and seats in the existing colleges.

PACS’ term extended

Another major decision taken by the Cabinet was to extend the term of 2,700 odd primary agriculture cooperative societies by another six months as implementation of reforms in them was half way through.

At the same time, efforts would be made to conduct elections to their management committees at the earliest.

It deferred a decision on the proposal to enhance input subsidy to farmers against loss of crops caused by drought or heavy rains, to Rs. 10,000 per hectare from Rs. 6,000 now, on the ground that the issue needed further discussions.

Commissionerate for minorities

Minorities Welfare Minister Syed Ahmed Ahmadullah said the Cabinet approved the proposal to establish a separate commissionerate for minorities with 64 officials initially to oversee the functioning of various agencies working for their welfare.

The Cabinet ratified the Dearness Allowance hike for government staff/pensioners by 5.99 per cent effective from July 1, 2012 which would place an extra burden of Rs. 124 crore on exchequer annually.

A residential school for tribal girls would be set up at Devarakonda in Nalgonda district and the existing one at Miryalaguda would be upgraded into a junior college. As many as 1,273 new posts were sanctioned to different departments and 306 for Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies.

The Cabinet decided to start implementation of Indiramma Amrutha Hastham scheme to provide nutritious food to pregnant women from January 1.