Says professional colleges collecting capitation fees

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government is responsible for the crisis in the professional education sector in the wake of the High Court order declaring as void the entrance examination conducted by the Kerala Private Medical College Managements Association, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala has said.

Inaugurating a seminar on the Right to Education Act organised by the district unit of the Indian Lawyers Congress (ILC) here on Wednesday, Mr. Chennithala said Education Minister M.A. Baby should explain how the 11 private medical college managements collected huge capitation fee from students. (These managements had entered into an agreement with the government, Mr. Chennithala said).

It was a mystery that only 720 students had appeared for the entrance examination. There were 580 seats available in the 11 colleges. The managements had reportedly sought Rs.10 lakh as advance from students to get the application forms, he said adding that a medical student getting admission in any of these colleges had to pay a total 47.5 lakh under various heads.

“The LDF government's policies were permitting such things for the past four years,” he said. The P.A. Mohamed Committee, constituted to supervise the holding of entrance examination by the managements' association, had not been informed of the agreement, he said.

The future of hundreds of students who had already paid the amount was now uncertain. The crisis had aggravated due to the association's decision to not admit students in seats allotted to the government quota, he added. Mr. Chennithala said the RTE Act had been introduced in the backdrop of the grim situation in the school education sector in the country barring States like Kerala.

The review of the Tenth Five Year Plan had shown an 80 per dropout in schools and lack of proper infrastructure in educational institutions. The country was facing reversals in the education sector, especially in areas of women's education. The RTE Act ensured that school education was the fundamental right of children, he said.

The Act was among the progressive initiatives of the UPA government such as the Right to Information Act and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. The Right to Food Bill which would be introduced in the ongoing session of Parliament would ensure food security to the people. Good governance, transparency, poverty eradication and employment guarantee were the objectives of the UPA government, he added.

ILC district president Thankachan Mathew presided. Calicut University former Vice-Chancellor A.N.P. Ummerkutty, district Congress president P. Ramakrishnan, UDF district chairman Sunny Joseph, ILC State president T. Asaf Ali, secretary T.O. Mohananan and Vijayan Chalode were among those present.

More In: Kerala | National