The State Government was opposed to the sanctioning of engineering colleges which lacked basic facilities and capable faculty, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the Assembly on Friday.
The issues raised in the June 28 Kerala High Court order regarding the falling academic standards of engineering colleges in the state will be addressed, he said.
The Opposition, which demanded that the House be adjourned to discuss the sad plight of technical education in the wake of the HC order, staged a walk-out after the motion was denied.
Earlier, replying to the motion, Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb said that he had not yet got a copy of the HC order. It was expected to be made available within two days and necessary action will be taken, he said.
But closing down the colleges has several implications. New MTech courses were proposed to address the shortage of qualified faculty, he said.
Deputy Opposition leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan scoffed at Abdu Rabb’s declaration that he was yet to see the order.
“I have the order with me,” Balakrishnan said, holding up a copy. “The HC had said that engineering colleges whose pass percentage is below 40 per cent should be shut down. Then, of the 105 self-financing colleges, almost 70 will have to be closed. The HC had also said that the results of these colleges should be published on the website. But this government is setting the ground for commercialisation of the sector,” he said.
Chandy pointed out that the HC’s assessment was based on the 2008-2011 period, when the LDF was in power.
The HC, however, has drawn attention to a serious issue and the government will take stern steps to improve academic standards, he said.
CPM’s P Sreeramakrishnan, who introduced the adjournment motion, said that pass percentages in the state’s engineering colleges had plummeted from 90 per cent ten years ago to as low as four per cent now in some colleges.
There were six colleges where the pass percentage was below 10 per cent, 15 colleges having between 10 per cent and 15 per cent and 30 colleges with a pass rate between 30 per cent and 40 per cent, he said.
Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also expressed regret at the fact that the Left had supported the then Chief Minister A K Antony’s decision to allow self-financing colleges in the state.
“The managements have tricked us all,” he said.
Minister withdraws statement
Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb had to swallow his words after he remarked that the government had given NoC to a college which had P Sreeramakrishnan on its director board.
The latter emphatically denied this, prompting the Opposition to demand the Minister to withdraw his comment, which, he did.