TN Minister joins issue with PMK leader on higher education

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Chennai, May 17 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Minister for Higher Education K Ponmudi today joined issue with Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder-leader S Ramadoss over the development of higher eudcation in the state.

Reacting to the PMK leader's remarks that higher education has taken a slide in the state, the Minister listed out the number of achievements made in higher education after DMK came to power in May 2006.

He said the government, by abolishing the entrance test, helped rural students to secure admission to professional courses. This helped 43.9 per cent more rural students to secure admission.

Mr Ponmudi said after the government insisted that the self financing engineering colleges should give 65 per cent seats to the government, an additional 56,041 students were benefited.

He said during the previous regime, no college was started with government assistance. But in the last two years in DMK regime, six university affiliated colleges were started.

The government has brought down the fees in government Engineering colleges from Rs 12,550 to Rs 7,550 and abolished education fee in government arts colleges, he said.

Dr Ramadoss should also be aware that the DMK government, after abolishing the ''guest lecturer'' system, has appointed more than 3,500 lecturers in all the government and government aided colleges, he said.

The PMK leader should also know that the government has trifurcated Anna University and through the universities, the government has started six engineering colleges this year.

To benefit more rural students and considering the fact that about 10,000 engineering seats remained unfulfilled last year, the government has decided to lower the minimum marks for admission, he said.

Dr Ramadoss should read reports appeared in media about state government securing three universities from the Centre and according unitary status to seven colleges, he said.

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