Kerala Govt surrenders to ICC in SF admissions

Fresh from the resounding victory at Piravom, the Oommen Chandy Government has lost no time in giving legitimacy to the contentious stand of the Inter-Church Council (ICC) on the admissions to professional courses in the self-financing sector. For the first time, fees are also going through the roof.

The ICC has been ploughing a lonely furrow challenging the stand on the fee structure of the previous and the present governments for the past five years.

Last year, the chief minister and his senior colleagues tried hard to rope in the ICC but the latter refused to budge from its declared stand.

But this year, instead of making the ICC agree to a lower fee in government quota seats, the government on Thursday night agreed to the declared stand of ICC for a common fee in both engineering and medical seats under its colleges.

The ICC has been dead against what it called cross-subsidy and this time its stand has got the approval of the government too.

Interestingly, for the first time the government is entering into two different agreements for the admission to the same engineering stream.

One is with the Kerala Self-Financing Engineering College Management Association (KSFECMA) led by Mr G.P.C. Nayar and Mr Mr T.A. Vijayan comprising 91 colleges and the other with the ICC commanding 12 colleges.

There are two different fee structures in government seats in the agreement with KSFECMA — Rs 40,000 for 50 per cent seats and Rs 65,000 in remaining seats.

The government allowed a hike of Rs 5,000 in both these categories. The 50 per cent management seats in these colleges carry a fee of up to Rs 99,000 and an additional Rs 25,000 as workshop charges.

The ICC has been allowed a common fee of Rs 75,000 in all seats under its engineering colleges. In the medical seats, the ICC has been allowed to charge Rs 3.75 lakh across seats.

“The government is aiming for similar agreements in the medical admission also. It has surrendered even the reservation policies,” said the former education minister, Mr M.A. Baby. The government is yet to arrive at an agreement with the other medical management association.

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