University appointments go to PSC

The State Cabinet has decided to extend the validity of Public Service Commission (PSC) rank lists to four and a half years and entrust recruitment of non-teaching staff of all universities in Kerala to the PSC.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after a Cabinet meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday that the Law Department would be asked draw up a draft law for revising the validity period of PSC rank lists. The normal validity of PSC lists is three years and it had extended the validity of lists which were about to expire by three months (till September end) on recommendations from the government. Now, the lists would expire only on completion of four and a half years or publication of a new rank list, whichever is earlier.

The Chief Minister said the decision to leave the appointments of non-teaching staff in universities need not affect the implementation of the Lok Ayukta and High Court orders directing Kerala University to conduct fresh selection for appointment of assistants. (The Lok Ayukta had found irregularities in the appointments.)

Medical leave

Mr. Chandy said the medical leave available for government employees (45 days) would be enhanced in the case of cancer patients based on doctor’s certificate. The purse of State teachers award would be increase from Rs.5,000 to Rs.10,000. Besides, the awards would be presented the same year.

He said the Cabinet had decided to form a company to promote the tourism potential of the Muziris Heritage Project. It would be formed as a government company, but would be converted later into a joint sector company. The Cabinet approved the proposal to form a Valluvanadu Infrastructure Development Authority and sanctioned Rs.50 lakh to meet its administrative expenses.

The Chief Minister announced that the Student Entrepreneurship Programme, now being implemented for IT projects, would be extended to cover tourism, agriculture, dairy development, and arts and culture. The government had announced the student entrepreneurship policy in September last at the Emerging Kerala meet and this had received wide acclaim. So, September 12 would be observed as Entrepreneurship Day and new initiatives in the area would be announced on that day.