Nod for 20 p.c. increase in Plus Two seats

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JUNE 1. The UDF High Power Committee (HPC) has recommended a 20 per cent increase in the number of Plus Two seats in aided and unaided schools, including an additional batch in unaided schools.

The additional batches would be sanctioned in such a way as to ensure that there would be no additional financial commitment on the part of the Government. The UDF also recommended sanctioning of unaided courses in unaided colleges, besides two batches in aided colleges, subject to the stipulation that the respective managements would not charge exorbitant fee from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Educationally Backward Communities.

The UDF also recommended that the Chief Minister convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issues related to self-financing professional institutions. It also suggested the convening of separate meetings to discuss the issues with student organisations, managements and the parents' associations.

Announcing the outcome of the discussions at the UDF HPC meeting today, the ruling front convener, Oommen Chandy, said the UDF had decided to stick to its stand of 50:50 government-management quota in these institutions. The UDF was prepared to consider all steps, including legislation, within the constitutional limitations imposed by the Supreme Court verdict on the admissions to the self-financing institutions.

He said the State Government was within its right to bring in legislation since education was under the concurrent list. However, the Supreme Court had stated that its verdict would hold good till Parliament brought in legislation on the admissions. The UDF also recommended steps to ensure that the SCs/STs/OEC communities continued to enjoy benefits in relation to fees.

The UDF also decided to push forward the implementation of Narendran Commission. Mr. Chandy said the commission report had figured in the discussion.