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Cooperative medical colleges to have Government fee structure

Special Correspondent

Left Democratic Front boycotts all-party meeting called by Chief Minister



EXPLAINING STANCE: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy along with his Cabinet colleagues M.V. Raghavan and E.T. Mohammed Basheer addressing presspersons after a discussion on the fee issue in the capital on Sunday. Photo: S. Mahinsha

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Faced with the prospect of a fresh outbreak of student unrest, the Government has decided to charge only fee at the concessional rate fixed by it from students who gain admission to the merit seats in the medical colleges under the Cooperative Academy of Professional Education (CAPE) at Pariyaram and Kochi.

An all-party meeting convened by the Government here on Sunday evening to discuss the fee row failed to materialise following the Opposition Left Democratic Front's decision to stay away from it. What finally took place was a consultation between Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, his Cabinet colleagues and officials. Education Minister E. T. Mohammed Basheer, Cooperation Minister M. V. Raghavan, Agriculture Minister K.R. Gouri, State Planning Board member C. P. John, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Thalekkunnil Basheer, Principal Secretary (Higher Education) P.J. Thomas and Commissioner of Entrance Examinations (CEE) C. K. Viswanathan participated in the deliberations.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Chandy maintained that there was no decision at the July 5 all-party meeting to charge only Government fee from students gaining admission to the two CAPE-controlled medical colleges. All that the Government had offered to do was to consult the CEE to see how the Opposition demand for Government fee in merit seats in the two colleges could be met.

The Government never intended to say `no' to the Opposition demand. Sunday's all-party meeting was called to see how their demand could be put into practice. If the Opposition leaders were present, the meeting could have worked out a way out of the current impasse, he added.

Mr. Chandy said the Government would work out a way to implement the decision within two days. The Government would not allow the admission process to get entangled in technical and legal complexities, he said, but refused to elaborate how the Government proposed to do this.

Terming the Opposition decision to stay away from thes meeting `most unfortunate,' Mr. Chandy said the Opposition stand on the self-financing college issue had all along been confused and far from helpful. The Government will still try its best to take everybody along and get the Kerala Self-Financing College Act included in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution.

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