Is Kerala's higher education department considering opening the door to private universities? 

The CPM government in 2016 had opposed the granting of permission to private universities
Image for representation | Pic: Express
Image for representation | Pic: Express

The Kerala government is examining the possibility of opening private universities in the state, according to sources. According to reports, a Middle Eastern education group have begun to make moves to set up private universities in Kerala after the Rajagiri College of Social Sciences began seeking approval for 'deemed-to-be' university status.

The Higher Education department, under the UDF regime, had recommended giving permission to private universities. But the CPM-led government staunchly opposed the move in the state assembly. In 2016, SFI activists attacked TP Srinivasan during a global education gathering in Kovalam. Srinivasan was then the Vice-Chairman of the Higher Education Council.

KT Jaleel, the former minister, was of the opinion that private universities should not be allowed with UGC approval that ignores the restrictions placed by the state government. But now, rejecting this, the state government has now submitted an order which directs the Higher Education Council to submit a report regarding permitting private universities. There are 19 Arts and Science colleges and three self-financed engineering colleges in the state which have an autonomous status. Most of them could now become private or deemed to be universities. 

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