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Minority forum unhappy with edu dept over mandatory filling of 50 pc quota seats

Catholic Secular Forum warns it will resort to legal action if state education department does not take back decision, demands more grants from govt

Even as a decision by the state's minorities and education departments to make it mandatory for minority schools to fill quota seats and staff vacancies under a fixed criterion remains under consideration, the Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) and other activists from minority communities have threatened to take legal action against the education department if the decision is implemented.

In the past two months, several minority institutions across the state had been sent notices through government resolutions (GR) threatening de-recognition for not filling up 50 per cent minority quota seats.
The CSF and the Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE), besides suggesting that several institutions are still facing the issues of fee hike and non-aided grants, which have not been improved since 2003, have demanded additional grants from the government.

CSF general secretary Joseph Dias said that since it was not possible for the Christian schools to fill the quota seats from the community, the education board was encroaching upon the rights of the minority institutions by making them enrol candidates from the general quota, whose quality would be otherwise difficult to ascertain.
"We are concerned with the quality of service and not any community. Our experience has shown that the teaching and non-teaching service is not maintained in Catholic schools if general quota is included," Dias said.
The forum has approached the minority commissioner of the state, Nasim Khan, with whom the decision is still pending. "We will soon take this matter up legally," he said. There are more than 1,000 minority institutions across the state, which have been facing the issue.

Fee restriction
Another activist, Father J Jose, said that the institutions were also restricted from increasing the fees even though there have been lots of issues relating to salary grant. "The education department has debarred certain institutions from collecting grants," Jose said. "If grants are not collected how can they provide facilities?"
Minority Development Minister Arif Naseem Khan said the issue was being looked into. "We are examining all possible angles. We'll make sure that no institution faces any problem," he said.

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