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Home dept wants college seats for terror victims’ kin

Access to education

Recently a 26/11-terror martyr’s kin failed to secure admission in a college of her choice, despite being promised free education by the state government. This evoked strong reaction from all quarters, especially the state home minister RR Patil, who has now demanded a re-look into the compensation policy for kin of martyrs of terror attacks.

The state higher education department will accordingly write to the central government for reserving a seat for the kin of martyr’s of terror attacks, who have been promised compensation by the state, in government colleges for professional courses.

Aditi Shinde, daughter of railway inspector Shashank Shinde, who lost his life in the terror attack at CST, approached Patil for securing admission into Mumbai’s Sydenham College. But as Aditi did not have the required marks, she could not make it to the merit list.

“Considering Shinde’s background and her family circumstances, it would be fair to make an exception in such cases. We have promised free education to the kin, but if we cannot give them an opportunity in a college of their choice, it would not be fair,” Patil said.

Patil called a meeting of Milind Mhaiskar, secretary medical education, who is holding additional charge for higher education, and Medha Gadgil, secretary home department.A senior higher education department official pointed out that while it was explained to Patil that it was not possible to dip into the current seats available, creation of an extra seat as per requirement could be made.

The higher education department said it could help the kin of martyrs secure admission into private colleges as well. “It was decided that the department will write to the All India Council for Technical Education, which governs government colleges and ask for this extra seat reservation of such kin of victims so that they get an opportunity to study in government colleges for free,” the official said.

Hindustan Times, June 25, 2011

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