KERALA

KC(J) to stand by LDF education policy

PATHANAMTHITTA Jan 25. The Kerala Congress(J) chairman and former Education Minister, P.J. Joseph, has said that his party firmly stands behind the LDF policy of sanctioning self-financing professional courses only on the condition that 50 per cent of the total seats should be filled purely on merit, leaving the remaining as payment seats.

Talking to presspersons at Charalkunnu, near Kozhencherry, today, Mr. Joseph said the Government had miserably failed in properly arguing the case concerned and filing the required statements before the court, leading to the present imbroglio. There are two options before the Government now: it can negotiate with the managements of various self-financing professional colleges and fix definite and reasonable norms in terms of admissions and fee structure, another alternative is to take a stern stand that the required no-objection certificate (NOC) should be given only to those colleges that agree with the terms and conditions fixed by the Government.

Mr. Joseph said the Government could constitute an expert committee to prepare a rough estimate of the annual financial requirements to run a medical college or any other professional institutions and fix a reasonable fee structure for them.

Mr. Joseph was at Charalkunnu to attend a State leadership camp of the party. He said the camp had adopted a resolution urging the Union and the State Governments to take immediate steps to declare Kerala drought-hit in view of the alarmingly low rate of rainfall this year and the acute drought situation in the offing in different parts of the State. Records show an alarming 40 per cent shortage in the annual rainfall in the State and rivers have already become scarce of water in their upper reaches and the situation would be worst in the summer months. It is high time the Government convinced the Central authorities on the need to declare the State drought-hit.

The KC(J) chairman stressed the need to conduct an exhaustive study before taking a decision on the exploitation of natural resources, especially by engaging private agencies.

Mr. Joseph alleged that the Global Investor Meet held in Kochi was more or less a farce. The Idukki MP, Francis George, wasalso present.