There's shortage of 7,478 plus-one seats in Malappuram, admits Sivankutty

V SIvankutty. File photo: Manorama

As students' unions cutting across party lines took to the streets in protest against the shortage of Plus One seats in Malappuram, General Education Minister V Sivankutty told the Assembly on Monday that, at this stage, there was a shortage of only 7,478 seats in the district. Muslim Students Federation, the students wing of the Muslim League that is in the vanguard of the agitation, had said that the shortage was 32,000 after the third allotment. 

The minister assured that all students would secure admission once the supplementary allotment was carried out. "Last year we could complete the admission process without any hassle," the minister said while responding to a submission moved by former ports minister Ahmed Devarkoil.

The minister said that last year 4,952 seats were left vacant at the end of the admission process. He said the 14 additional batches shifted to Malappuram last year and the 84 temporary additional batches created last year would continue this academic year, too.

Of the 70,976 seats available last year, only 66,024 were filled; 4,952 seats, thus, were left vacant. 

This year, the minister said the total number of applications in Malappuram is 82,466. Of this, 4,352 have secured admission in other districts. This leaves 78,114 applicants. Within this 4,492 had secured admissions through various quotas like management, community and sports quotas and 7,054 have not taken any higher secondary admissions. So this leaves 71,060 applicants. Till now 53,762 have secured admission - 51,451 in higher secondary and 2,311 in vocational higher secondary. Therefore, at this stage, 17,298 have been left out. The number of remaining seats at this stage is 9,820. Thus, the shortage works out to 7,478.

Though the minister did not say this, his office said that the number of vacant seats in unaided schools in Malappuram is 10,185. It is these unaided seats that the minister is banking on to absorb the remaining students.

Sivankutty will hold a meeting with student representatives on Tuesday. Nonetheless, he was sarcastic when asked by reporters about SFI's participation in the agitation. "For quite a long time they have been kept away from agitations. Perhaps this will energise them," he said.  "Hopefully I can remove their misunderstanding tomorrow," he said.

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