Kerala Govt for unconditional talks on textbook issue

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Kochi, June 22 (UNI) Kerala Education Minister M A Baby today expressed the Government's willingness to hold unconditional talks with the Opposition, Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), to resolve the textbook row.

Speaking to newspersons here, he denied allegations of the Congress students wing, Kerala Students' Union (KSU), and Youth Congress that the seventh standard social studies textbook was propagating communism and atheism.

Reacting to KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala's statement that the Government should be ready for talks after withdrawing the textbook, Mr Baby said, ''Mr Chennithala is blocking the scope of talks by putting forth conditions.'' He said the textbook in question was reviewed and approved by the curriculum committee and there was nothing controversial about it.

''Instead of the Congress criticising the LDF Government for the textbook, it should take up the issue of the 10th standard NCERT English textbook, which states that 'Nehru did not practice any religion and did not believe in God' with the Centre. That textbook was approved by the UPA Government and the Congress is silent on that,'' he said.

Meanwhile, certain Church leaders have stated that they would continue their protests until the Government withdrew the controversial textbook.

On the self-financing colleges issue, Mr Baby said the Government was trying to arrive at a consensus with the management of the colleges and a majority of medical and engineering self-financing colleges had agreed with the Government on fee structure.


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