The Cabinet decision to relax the marks for mathematics for engineering admission from 50 to 45 per cent was made as per the norms of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb has said.

Replying to a submission by K.S. Saleekha that the decision would lead to a fall in standards of engineering education, Mr. Rabb said the AICTE had fixed it at 45 per cent, but it was pegged at 50 per cent by the government for improving the standards. The relaxation will be given only to students who secure 60 per cent marks in science subjects. Ms. Saleekha alleged that the decision was taken under pressure from self-financing engineering colleges which were not getting sufficient students.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said a sub-centre of the Kerala State Civil Services Academy would be set up in Palakkad and another one had been planned in Kozhikode. Replying to a submission by K.N.A. Khader, Mr. Chandy said more such centres would be opened to provide coaching facilities to students across the State.

Rural Development Minister K.C. Joseph said that sufficient funds would be provided for timely disbursal of non-journalists’ pension. Replying to a submission by K. Muraleedharan, Mr. Joseph said that steps would be taken to clear their pension arrears and to provide adequate funds to the Public Relations Director in time. Mr. Muraleedharan said that while journalists’ pension was being given in time, there was undue delay in giving pension to non-journalists and this was owing to the delay in verifying documents.

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