Staff Reporter

Says State should be made ideal destination

‘Healthy contest between institutions vital'

‘LDF has changed its stance on colleges'

ALAPPUZHA: Defence Minister A.K. Antony has said the State should be developed into a destination point for higher education for the entire country.

Speaking after inaugurating the Vellappally Natesan College of Engineering near Kayamkulam here on Saturday, Mr. Antony said it was heartening to see that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had shed its resistance to autonomous professional colleges and were encouraging more and more professional colleges in all sectors.

The next step would be to develop the State into an ideal destination for all those who wanted to pursue higher education, particularly in the professional field.

Healthy competition between government, private, autonomous and cooperative educational institutions should be encouraged as part of this development, Mr. Antony said.

The earlier ideological stance that only government professional education institutions were necessary had resulted in students from the State going to other States and in the process, being forced to pay exorbitant fees. Now, the situation was changing, he said.

Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) general secretary Vellappally Natesan, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Coir and Cooperation Minister G. Sudhakaran, P.J. Kurian and Kodikunnil Suresh, MPs, and M. Murali, K. Babu and K.K. Shaju, MLAs, also spoke. Thushar Vellappally presided over the function.