Govt faces opposition from Leftist organisations in implementing higher education commission report

By PK Manikandan

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Thiruvananthapuram: In a meeting convened to discuss the higher education commission's report, various left-leaning organisations criticised the Kerala government's move to implement some of its recommendations.

While students wing SFI objected the approval for private universities, teachers organisation AKGCT found issues with constituent colleges.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the government has accorded an in-principle approval to permit private universities in Kerala. SFI termed it an anti-student policy. AA Akshay, vice-president of SFI, voiced their concern that the government will not be able to control fees in the private universities. He said SFI stands by their policy on privatisation of the education sector. SFI suggested that the government must rather ensure the growth and development of existing public institutions in the state. Kerala Students Union, the students' organisation of Congress, also criticised the move to bring private universities.

Meanwhile, the Association of Kerala Government College Teachers (AKGCT) opposed the move to start constituent colleges. Proposed by the Prof Shyam B Menon commission, constituent colleges are autonomous institutions envisaged to end the affiliated system existing in the universities in the state. They said that constituent college is a failed concept.

The state government plans to elevate ten colleges to the status of constituent college in the first phase. Pinarayi Vijayan said that all colleges will become constituent colleges in the future.

Meanwhile, the higher education minister R Bindu described plans for spending the proposed Rs 5,000-crore-worth higher education fund. The state will implement major recommendations slated in reports of three commissions in the sector after discussions, the minister said.

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