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Chief Minister hints at changes in law

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Special Correspondent

Education Minister to hold talks on self-financing professional colleges Act

KOZHIKODE: Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan has said that his Government is ready to make changes in the recently enacted law on self-financing professional colleges to accommodate "sensible criticism."

Speaking to mediapersons here on Monday, the Chief Minister said the complaint that not all sections of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) could afford to pay five times the Government fee for seats set aside for them in self-financing colleges would have to be considered.

Earlier, the Chief Minister held discussions with leaders of various Muslim organisations who called on him. Education Minister M. A. Baby, Industries Minister Elamaram Karim, and Forest Minister Benoy Viswom were present at the talks. Representatives of the Muslim Educational Society (MES) and organisations representing Sunnis and Mujahids were in the delegation.

Mr. Achuthanandan said at the press conference that the Muslim community leaders had told him that their organisations were not a party to the ongoing agitations against the law. They, however, raised doubts about some of the provisions of the law which they feared would be harmful to the community.

The Education Minister cleared some of the doubts raised during the discussions. He promised them that he would meet them later to give more clarifications to allay their fears that the new law would undermine their minority privileges.

The Chief Minister said doubts and misgivings of other constituents of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) would also be cleared. He said the Government's principal objective in making the law was to minimise corruption in the education sector. The Chief Minister was confident that the people would support it.

He, however, was quick to indicate that he did not approve of recent students' agitations that had targeted some professional colleges.

Later, Fazal Gafoor of the MES who was in the delegation that called on the Chief Minister confirmed that the Education Minister had agreed to hold another round of discussions.

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