: Kerala government today said it was prepared to hold discussions with the Union HRD minister on the plight of over 100 BTech students of a private college, the affiliation of which had been cancelled. Education Minister C Ravindranth told the state Assembly that the students of Chemical Engineering, who are on strike in front of the Secretariat here for the past one week, would be admitted in other colleges after receiving guidelines from All India Council for Technical Education. Students of Toms College of Engineering, Mattakkara in Kottayam have been on the warpath since January alleging harassment by the management and poor infrastructure there. The minister said students pursuing other courses had already been admitted in other colleges as per their demand. "There are only four colleges which provide Chemical Engineering course in the state.
So either additional seats should be allotted or fresh batches need to be started in these colleges to admit them," the minister said. "The vice chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) has met the AICTE chairman twice. We are ready to hold discussions with the union HRD minister in this regard, if necessary," he said. In his reply to a notice for adjournment motion, moved by Congress MLA Roji John, the minister said an AICTE team had recently visited the college campus to evaluate the situation and government was expecting a reply. Ravindranath also assured that the government would take all possible steps to regulate private, self-financing college managements in the state. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the government should view the plight of students of private engineering colleges with more seriousness and regularly monitor whether they were following the guidelines. John also alleged that girl students had complained that a top management authority used to visit the hostel in the late evening and even used abusive language against them. Following the complaints, the Technological University had decided not to renew its affiliation from the academic year 2017-18.
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