Special Correspondent

LDF says they should enter into an agreement with State on merit quota

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Left Democratic Front (LDF) State committee has decided to allow sanctioning of new self-financing colleges on the condition that those promoting such colleges will enter into a clear agreement with the government to set aside 50 per cent seats for the merit quota with lesser fees.

Briefing reporters after the LDF committee here on Saturday, front convener Vaikom Viswan said only those managements that agreed to go by the principles of social justice and merit would be permitted to start such colleges.

He said the LDF panel had also asked the Education Department to hold discussions with managements and other sections concerned regarding the report of the Kerala Education Rules Revision Committee. Replying to a question, he said the government would not take away the power of the managements to make appointments.

The Forest Department, he said, had been asked to go in for the existing laws or to draft a new law to ensure that declaration of forest tracts as ‘ecologically fragile’ did not result in alienation of farmers’ lands without diluting the provisions for protecting the ‘ecologically fragile’ lands.

The committee also approved the ‘water policy’ and directed the Water Resources Department to prepare a new law to protect water bodies and provide drinking water to the maximum number of people.

It was also decided to constitute a sub-committee of the LDF to coordinate the negotiations relating to revision of the Parambikkulam-Aliyar Project (PAP) agreement. The Paloli Mohammed Committee report on implementation of the Sachar Committee recommendations in Kerala was also approved by the committee, he said.

Mr. Viswan said the committee had endorsed the Food Security Programme and asked the government to direct the State Planning Board to come up with a revised proposal for its implementation. The programme, he said, would be implemented as people’s initiative on the lines of the Total Literacy Campaign and the People’s Plan Campaign with a gross outlay of Rs.1,312 crore.

He said it had also been decided to activate committees of the LDF at the district, constituency and panchayats levels and hold district-level rallies and mount a campaign to counter the Opposition’s propaganda against the government.