In the last decade, people from across the country rush into Puducherry for pursuing their Under Graduate and Post graduate courses. Yes! Pondicherry, it was an educational hub too. Due to this, there was a dramatic rise in number of Colleges in Puducherry (34 according to this WIKI page Link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_educational_institutions_in_Puducherry)
Last decade many families got their first degree graduate from their entire clan. Thanks to then Congress Chief Minister Mr. N.Rangasamy (Mr. NR) and his government. Soon, several colleges were started. The graduation success should not be attributed to the colleges but the GOP (Government of Pondicherry) for their Perunthalaivar Kamaraj Financial Assistance Scheme (PKFA). The Graduation rate increased exponentially and now there is an Engineer for every house and a doctor for every 15 houses.
PKFA Scheme is the best investment any Government can do. Investing in education is investing on humanity and for morality. It all went well since the professional colleges were low in number at that time. The PKFA expenses were recurring and expanding in nature. Since then there is a new college inaugurated in Pondicherry every year. Even many Business oriented educational Institutions were started considering the money pumped out from PKFA Scheme. So, now the education investment not only recurred but increased too.
Few college became Deemed Universities and few become autonomous Institutions and the trouble started here. They started to dictate their terms to the Government.
From that time till now our government makes a negotiation with the colleges at the start of every academic year and always the colleges come up as winners. Every time our government needs to compromise on the seat sharing.
In 2008 when Mr.NR stepped down as CM of Pondicherry it was a total bankrupt for the GOP. Virtually the government was in a big financial crisis. And later when Mr. V. Vaithilingam (Mr. VV) signed in as CM of Pondicherry he decided to bite the bullet.
There were several drawbacks in PKFA Scheme. The Richest of Riches got the PKFA Scheme by giving a false affidavit stating there are Poor. The Mr. VV Government worked towards fixing all these loopholes but it heavily backfired at the Congress in the next election.
CENTAC seat sharing and PKFA is still a major Crisis for the Government every year. The Government had no control over the few structure of the college. Even few colleges charge up to INR 8 lakhs per year and through the PKFA the government reimburses approximately 3 lakhs only. So now since the Fees structure is not in governments control the Nobel objective of the PKFA scheme is already gone.
The real problem now is the Job and Not the Seat.
Pondicherrians will never forget the UDC exam held last year. Around 30,000 (2.5% of Pondicherry’s Population) applicants for 503 UDC posts. The exam day was like a Festival day across Pondicherry. Isn’t that a shame? After 2012 Bulk UDC Recruitment this is the only big direct and indirect Job opportunity created by the government.
Undereducated people from North (mostly Bihar and Orissa) rally towards Chennai seeking Job just like our own under graduated brothers and sisters from Pondicherry. They lead a nomadic life towards Chennai seeking Job. The salaries may be different but both their mental stress and state are similar.
Special Economic Zone Promise?
Where is the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) promised by AINRC party before the 2011 election?
Is SEZ practically possible in Pondicherry?
An assembly discussion is really needed on this after the Assembly elections.
Experts say it is difficult to acquire land for SEZ in the densely populated Pondicherry. They also suggest that it is good to declare entire Pondicherry rural as SEZ where the government can provide subsidized and uninterrupted Electricity and water. And mainly a peaceful atmosphere for business. And also, Capable Ministers who can negotiate with big business service MNCs like TCS, Infosys and the likes of IBM.
What people feel the newly formed Government should immediately do?
- Similar to SETC buses from Siruseri (SIPCOT) to Southern states of TamilNadu. Our own PRTC should announce daily direct buses from Siruseri (SIPCOT) to Pondicherry.
- Steps should be taken to enforce the earlier proposed ECR Chennai – Pondicherry Rail.
- Entire Rural Pondicherry should be declared SEZ and negotiations should be made with big business corporates.
- Employment exchange should be fully functional.
- Yearly recruitment for all the post including UDC’s should be done.
- Assembly discussion on the quality of education given by these colleges.
- And the big CENTAC Scam should also be dealt with a strong hand by the next government.