Special Correspondent

There is no need for separate tests: Chief Minister

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Government is taking a tough stand towards self-financing professional colleges on admissions and fee structure.

Talking to presspersons after the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan said the Government would not recognise separate entrance tests being conducted by managements for admissions to the management quota.

"The Government is conducting the entrance examinations for different streams. The managements need to absorb only candidates from the official rank list. There is no need for separate tests," he said.

Indicating that the Government would be taking a firm stand on fee structure, the Chief Minister said the managements had not kept their word given to the previous Government in this regard. However, the UDF Government had adopted a lenient stand. This had led to the managements challenging other directives of the Government also. "You will see what stand this Government would be taking. The legislation regarding admissions and free structure will be brought during the current session of the Assembly itself," he said.

Mr. Achuthanandan said the allegations against Public Works Minister P. J. Joseph were still under examination. Members of the previous Ministry, who were demanding action against Mr. Joseph, should explain why they had not taken any action during the past five years. All the reports pertaining to the allegations were before the previous Government.

Asked about the allegations he himself had raised in the Assembly when in the Opposition against newly appointed managing director of Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited N. R. Subramanyam, the Chief Minister said the appointment was made on the basis of the recommendation of Industries Minister Elamaram Karim. The Minister had reported that he had examined the allegations and found them `baseless.' If any further inquiry were needed, that would be done, he said.

Mr. Achuthanandan said the Cabinet had decided to grant Rs.10 lakhs to the next of kin of prisoner Raveendran who had been killed inside the Kannur Central jail.

The assistance announced by the previous Government for the mother of Udayabhanu, who was tortured and killed in the Fort Police Station here, would be enhanced from Rs.2 lakhs to Rs.3 lakhs. This would enable Prabhavathi, Udayabhanu's mother, to get Rs.1,500 a month (as interest). She was being given land and a house costing about Rs.10 lakhs. The registration of transfer would be exempted from stamp duty.

The Cabinet approved the policy address to be delivered by Governor R. L. Bhatia in the Assembly on Friday.

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