Special Correspondent

Ready for talks with Government to break deadlock

They say Government has ignored their interests completelyFlay Government for `double speak' on entrance testsFind provisions of the new law very stringentSay Government has appropriated 85 per cent of the seats

KOCHI: Offering to attend any negotiations based on "concrete proposals" on the Kerala Professional Colleges (Prohibition of Capitation Fee, Regulation of Admission, Fixation of Non-Exploitative Fee and Other Measures to Ensure Equity and Excellence in Professional Education) Bill, the Kerala Private Self-Financing Engineering College Managements Association on Sunday decided to go to court if the State Government did not "rectify the defects" in the new law.

The 50-member association met here on Sunday to take stock of the situation in the wake of the passage of the Bill by the Assembly.

G.P.C. Nayar, president of the association, told The Hindu after the meeting that the provisions of the Bill were so stiff that it would be hard for the managements to run the colleges. The only option would be closing them down.

Sees crisis

In view of this impending crisis, the association would go to an `appropriate court' seeking to strike down the defective provisions in the Bill and restore the private managements' rights.

But, Mr. Nayar said that if the Government came up with a `concrete proposal' to break the deadlock, the association would cooperate with it.

However, he recalled that in the last round of negotiations with the Government, the Education Minister had politely listened to the private managements' views and had agreed to consider them.

But, the Bill that had been passed by the Assembly had not echoed any of their concerns, Mr. Nayar added.

Seats already filled

Mr. Nayar pointed out that the managements had already, "under the privilege granted by the Supreme Court's interim order," filled 50 per cent of the college seats.

The Government's Entrance Commissioner had been informed of this.

Forty-nine managers, including the association secretary C.I. Abdul Rahman, attended the meeting.

In a press release, Mr. Nayar and Mr. Abdul Rahman said that the association had told the Government that the colleges were ready to leave a half of the seats to the Government and also to support any Government move for granting scholarships to poor students.

But the Government ignored this and went ahead with the Bill, which, according to them, helps the Government to appropriate 85 per cent of the seats.

Other entrance exams

The also said that while the Government and student unions opposed the private managements to hold their own entrance examinations, they had no problem with Tamil Nadu's and Karnataka's private management consortium move to hold entrance exams here in Kerala.

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