Chaos in Kerala Medical Education- A Sign post for future chaos in Minority dominated Kerala

published on June 17, 2011

Chaos in Kerala medical education sector
VR Jayaraj | Kochi – Daily Pioneer

The self-financing medical education sector in Kerala is set to plunge into chaos with the Congress-led Government failing to ensure 50:50 merit-management quota in admissions and Christian college managements sticking to their decision to fill all the seats with students from their lists.

With managements from other sections deciding that fulfillment of “social justice commitment” is not their exclusive responsibility when the Christian institutions are going by their rules and various student outfits are already on the path of agitation, it is now certain that order and peace will elude the medical education sector for the sixth consecutive academic year.

Several parties have charged the UDF Government with conspiratorial efforts to help the Christian college managements (Inter-Church Education Council) to commercialize the medical education sector totally while the BJP found fault with both the Left and UDF in connection with the vexed issue.

The colleges belonging to the Medical College Managements’ Association that had signed an agreement last year with the then LDF government to allot 50 percent of their seats on merit basis under Government quota have now decided to withdraw from that pact after the UDF regime allowed the Christian managements to fill seats in their colleges on their own.

The Government and the Inter-Church Educational Council, which has four medical colleges under it, had the other day come to an understanding that the latter could follow the admission and fees procedures it had adopted last year. The colleges under the council had filled all their seats from the management lists and on high fees.

Responding sharply to the refusal of the council to honour demands for social justice and the Government’s decision to endorse that position, the college managements that had made an agreement last year to follow 50:50 quota procedure threatened to withdraw from it.

“There cannot be one set of rules for us and another for them. If the Government can allow the Council to continue with denial of social justice, why we alone should admit students from Government quota,” said Fazal Gafoor, president of the Muslim Education Society, which had last year allotted 50 percent seats on merit basis and low fees.

With the two sides taking confrontationist postures and the Government effectively remaining a mute spectator, the dreams of hundreds of poor students about getting admission for MBBS in the 11 private medical colleges in the State are set to get shattered. Critics allege that the Government is not taking a firm position in order to help the Christian managements.

A meeting between the Cabinet sub-committee constituted to deal with the problems of admission and fees in private professional colleges and the Medical College Managements Association earlier this week had failed to reach an understanding after the Government could not give any assurance on making merit quota applicable to all colleges.

The association had made it clear that it was ready to agree to any proposal that was agreeable to the Inter-Church Council and Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. The Amrita Institute. enjoying deemed university status, has not been admitting students from the Government quota since 2007. The Inter-Church Council had boycotted that meeting.

However, council representatives held a meeting with the sub-committee the other day in which the Government allowed it to continue with the procedures it had followed last year, which meant that it could admit students to all seats in their colleges as per their choice and at the high fees of Rs 3.75 lakh a year per student.

The MES alleged that the Inter-Church Council’s position reflected its arrogance and that all sections had the same responsibility to honour social justice. Former education minister MA Baby of the CPI(M) agreed with the MES complaint that the Government had succumbed to the pressures of the Inter-Church Council.

Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan charged the UDF Government with hatching a conspiracy to sabotage the very concept of merit-based admission in private medical colleges. He told newsmen in Aluva that the Government was doing everything possible to help the managements to sell all seats at high price.

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