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Beer, wine parlour licences get 3-month extension

(THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Mar,23,2017):The Cabinet has extended the licence of beer and wine parlours, toddy shops, and bar permit holders for three months from April 1.

The Cabinet, which met here on Thursday, decided to extend the licences in view of the fact that the new excise policy of the Left Democratic Front government had not been announced so far.

The toddy shop licences would be extended after collecting a fee proportionate to the existing rates and also in compliance with the norms in force. Other licences would be issued as per the excise rules after collecting the current fees.

Aid announced

The Cabinet decided to release ?56.76 crore as third instalment of the relief sanctioned for endosulfan victims. Earlier, the government had decided to provide ?5 lakh each to the bedridden and mentallychallenged and ?3 lakh each to those suffering from physical disability and cancer in two instalments.

Third instalment

Those instalments had been distributed. The latest allocation is for distributing the third instalment. A sum of ?5.14 crore would be distributed to 257 bedridden patients and each of them would get ?2 lakh each.

The mentallychallenged would get ?2 lakh and the disabled ?1 lakh each. The kin of the dead would get ?2 lakh.

The first grama/ward sabha meeting for the formulation of the 13th Plan would be held from April 2 to 9. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his Cabinet colleagues would attend the sabhas in their respective wards. MPs and MLAs have been told to attend the Sabha meetings in their wards. Chief Secretary S.M. Vijayanand and other bureaucrats have also been told to attend the sessions in their wards.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) would be entrusted with the task of constructing new classrooms for the Chathanoor Lower Primary School in Palakkad where DMRC chief adivser E. Sreedharan had studied. The Public Works Department would provide ?20 lakh from its fund for the project.

A sum of ?5 lakh has been sanctioned to Omana, wife of P.K. Podimon, who died after the first heart transplant surgery in a government hospital.

Nepotism case: EP Jayarajan ignored meritorious candidates, says Vigilance
(KOCHI, march,07,2017):In appointing his nephew as the managing director of a public sector undertaking, former industries minister EP Jayarajan ignored the recommendation of a selection committee to appoint a person on the basis of merit, Vigilance and AntiCorruption Bureau (VACB) has informed the Kerala high court.

VACB's submission was in response to a petition filed by PK Sudheer alias Sudheer Nambiar seeking to quash the case registered in connection with the alleged act of nepotism by the minister. Sudheer is the son of Jayarajan's wife's sister and Kannur MP PK Sreemathy and he was appointed as the MD of Kerala State Industrial Enterprises Ltd.

Through the affidavit, VACB has now informed the high court that Sudheer was appointed by Jayarajan by suppressing the recommendations of the selection committee who forwarded the names of two candidates on the basis of merit. The affidavit also said IAS officer Paul Antony, who was the additional chief secretary of Industries department and is the third accused in the case, was aware of the existence of two eligible shortlisted candidates to the post but he wilfully did not mention anything in the relevant file.

Regarding the role of Jayarajan, VACB said in the affidavit, "The minister for industries and commerce approves an appointment of a candidate as MD in Public Sector Undertakings under his department. But here A1 being the minister instead of appointing the competent person has directed to appoint his nephew Sri. P.K. Sudheer and MD, KSIE ignoring the entire selection process and shortlisted candidates for the said post and the same also amounts to nepotism and has resulted in the obtainment of the post to his nephew without any public interest. A1 being the minister for industries and commerce abused his position as a minister and directed appointment of his near relative ignoring the selection process."

VCs panel to find ways tobetter internal assessment

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Feb,2,2017:Education Minister C. Ravindranath will constitute a committee of three Vice Chancellors to study and report on how the process of internal assessment can be made fair, transparent and studentfriendly in colleges in the State.

This was decided at a meeting of Vice Chancellors of universities in the State chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Thursday. The meeting was held against the backdrop of the recent student agitations in private and selffinancing colleges.

The numerous complaints that had come up about the system of internal assessment was discussed at the meeting. The need for ensuring multilayered grievance redressal mechanisms in selffinancing professional colleges was stressed.

The meeting resolved that inspections of expert committees that preceded the granting of affiliation to an institution would be held in a stringent manner in keeping with the letter and spirit of various regulations guiding such inspections and the granting of affiliation.

A couple of Vice Chancellors pointed out that affiliation was now mostly based on the infrastructure of the college. They stressed the need for including an academic audit as a parameter for granting affiliation.

One Vice Chancellor pointed out to the Chief Minister that some years ago the government had issued an order that a college which was not able to post a pass percentage of 30 would not be allowed to take in students for the next academic year. Following pressure from selffinancing colleges, this GO was never made operational, the Vice Chancellor said.

The meeting discussed the advisability of constituting a regulatory agency, along the lines of the Admission Supervisory Committee and Fee Regulatory Committee for professional colleges, to oversee all aspects of functioning of arts and science colleges.

The Chief Minister asked the Education Department and universities to stringently monitor the qualifications, quality and pay and service conditions of teachers in selffinancing institutions. It was also decided to ask the Education Department to instruct selffinancing colleges to set up PTAs and to allow student unions to freely function.



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