Govt. steps in to resolve Maharaja’s deadlock

: The government has entrusted the Ernakulam District Collector to end the academic and administrative impasse in Maharaja’s College following the agitation by a section of students against the autonomous status accorded to the institution.

The Hindu has reliably learnt that District Collector M.G. Rajamanickam is expected to hold talks with the agitating students in a few days aimed at resolving the situation on campus. The functioning of the college has been affected following the blockade organised by Students Federation of India (SFI) against the autonomy for Maharaja’s.

The Higher Education Department has made it clear that the students will not be permitted anymore to prevent teachers and other staff from entering the college as it’s an offence under Section 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) of the Indian Penal Code.

Senior officials of the department pointed out that the agitators were denying hundreds of students, especially those from weaker sections of the society, a chance to pursue an academic programme at Maharaja’s.

They also referred to the double standards being adopted by the protestors, who have not yet opposed the autonomy for the aided colleges. The three city autonomous aided colleges had already completed the admission for the undergraduate programmes for 2015. The ongoing agitation also raises a serious question of whether the benefits of autonomy should be confined to the rich and the affluent, the officials said.

The government has also taken a serious view of the theft of electronic equipment including computers worth about Rs. 2 lakh from the Department of Political Science on Wednesday.

Despite the ongoing protests, about 10,000 candidates had applied online for the undergraduate programmes at Ernakulam Maharaja’s College for the new academic year as per the official estimates. The Thiruvananthapuram-based LBS Centre for Science and Technology is responsible for the online registration.

The Higher Education Department also reiterated its stance that autonomy for Maharaja’s will not result in proliferation of self-financing courses. There will be no fee hike nor any change in the reservation norms for admission.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 3:11:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/govt-steps-in-to-resolve-maharajas-deadlock/article7360155.ece

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