Special Correspondent

Commission pulls up Government for delaying matter

NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) on Wednesday granted minority status to five educational institutions under the Pushpagiri Medical Society; ending an eight-year-old wait that began in February 1999. With this, the number of professional colleges having minority status in Kerala has gone up to 11.

Conceding the point made by the Pushpagiri Medical Society that the Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, the Pushpagiri College of Dental Science, the Pushpagiri College of Pharmacy, the Pushpagiri School of Medical Lab Technology and the Pushpagiri College of Nursing were administered by members of the Christian community and were, therefore, rightful claimants to minority status, the Commission in its order said: "Consequently, we find and hold that the aforesaid educational institutions are minority educational institutions within the meaning of Section 2(g) of the Act."

The order was passed by NCMEI chairman Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui and members B.S. Ramoowalia and Valson Thampu. The five Pushpagiri institutions are the first to be granted minority status after the enactment of the Prohibition of Capitation Fee, Regulation of Admission, Fixation of Non-Exploitative Fee and other Measures to ensure Equity and Excellence in Professional Education Act, 2006.

Since Pushpagiri first applied for minority status, power has changed hands thrice. When it applied, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) was in power after which the United Democratic Front (UDF) took over before yielding it back to the LDF in 2006.