Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that colleges maintaining excellence will be given autonomy.

“Autonomy will help colleges steer education to further heights,” the Chief Minister said while inaugurating the newly set up Government College at Tanur on Friday.

Mr. Chandy said that autonomy would be given to colleges on the basis of the recommendations of a committee constituted to study the changes required in higher education. Autonomy to colleges will bring about perceptible changes in higher education, he said.

The Chief Minister said the government had a clear stand on the developments to be carried out in the education sector. The sanctioning of colleges in Assembly constituencies without one and higher secondary schools in panchayats without one was part of that policy, he said.

Mr. Chandy reached Tanur amid tight security, deployed in the light of a threat by Left organisations. The police chased away a crowd which waived black flags at the Chief Minister. Several organisations, including the Democratic Youth Federation of India, had threatened to protest against Mr. Chandy at Tanur.

Abdurahman Randathani, MLA of Tanur, said that the new college was a dream come true for thousands of people living along the coast of Malappuram district.

Five undergraduate programmes such as BA in English literature, BBA, BCA, BSc electronics, and B.Com. in computer application have begun at the college in the current academic year.

The government has earmarked five acres of land adjacent to the Fisheries Technical Higher Secondary School, Tanur, for the college.

As much as Rs.5 crore will be spent from the MLA’s development fund for constructing the college building. Classes will begin this year at a temporary building at ITI, K. Puram.

Minister for Education P.K. Abdu Rabb presided over the function. Local Government Commission chairman Kutty Ahamed Kutty, Mr. Randathani, MLA, District panchayat president Suhara Mampad, District Collector K. Biju, Grama Panchayat Presidents Association district president C.K.A. Razak, Collegiate Education Director P.K. Velayudhan, Revenue Divisional Officer K. Gopalan, and Calicut University Syndicate member T.V. Ibrahim spoke.