Special Correspondent

Also seeks a commensurate increase in number of seats

Benefits of reservation should reach needy sectionsUse revenue from education cess to fund infrastructureIntroduce legal means to control private educational institutions

HYDERABAD: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) urged the Union Government to strengthen the infrastructure in Central educational institutions before introducing the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs from 2007. The party also sought a commensurate increase in the number of seats in these institutions so that the share of the general category would not suffer.

During the CPI (M)'s Central Committee meeting here on Friday, a resolution was passed, urging the Government to ensure that the benefits of reservation reached the needy sections.

CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury suggested that the Government utilise the revenue generated from the education cess to fund the expansion programme, estimated to cost around Rs. 7,800 crore. "There is no dearth of resources if the Government wants to expand infrastructure," he said.

The Central Committee members wanted the Government to introduce legal means to bring private educational institutions under social control. An enabling legislation, covering aspects like teachers' salary structure, curriculum and fee structure, should be passed, empowering State Governments to regulate admissions and fee structure in private higher educational institutions and professional colleges.

"Unless this is done, a large number of students belonging to all communities will be deprived of their legitimate right to education because of the exorbitant fee and admissions disregarding merit," Mr. Yechury said.

Deora faulted

The committee faulted Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora for defending his statement seeking the States to change their tax rates to absorb the recent petrol price hike.

The members said it was not proper to compare the revenues generated by the Centre with those of the States through the sale of petroleum products. While the Centre's share in the total revenue of Rs. 1.23 lakh crores generated through taxes on petroleum products was Rs. 92,000 crores that of the 28 States put together was Rs. 30,000 crores.