19 colleges to get govt aid

 The Cabinet on Thursday gave its approval for providing financial aid to 19 private law colleges across the State.


Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri said a committee headed by Prof Malimuddanna had recommended in 1999 that 24 private law colleges in the State should be brought under the aided bracket.


Successive governments, however, had not implemented the report. The government will provide aid to 19 colleges of the 24 recommended, as the other five colleges have closed down. The Cabinet has also earmarked Rs 300 crore for improvement of government degree colleges.


The funds will be utilised for providing basic amenities, purchase of furniture and laboratory equipment, besides construction of additional rooms, the minister said.


SIM cards


The Cabinet decided to provide SIM (subscriber identity module) cards and a monthly reimbursement of mobile bills with a limit of Rs 500 per month to 442 food inspectors and 154 food shirasthedars.


The cellphone numbers will be displayed at all fair price shops coming under the jurisdiction of food inspectors.


People can call the inspectors for information or lodge complaints, if any, Kageri said. The inspectors will also get a travelling allowance of Rs 500 per month.
The Cabinet approved setting up a Muslim residential school at Srirangapatna at a cost of Rs 9.45 crore.


UPCL


The Cabinet relaxed the ash content from 4.75 to 12 per cent in 1.5 million tonnes of coal proposed to be imported by the Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) for its two thermal power plants.


The move is likely to spark a controversy as the people of Udupi are already protesting against the fly ash generated by the coal-based power plants of the UPCL. Residents around Nandikur where the UPCL is located had complained of aliments, pollution and environmental damage due to fly ash.


Kageri said the UPCL had obtained clearance for importing 3.6 million tonnes of coal. The company had already imported two million tonnes of coal with  4.75 per cent ash content. The relaxation was for the balance 1.5 million tonnes, Kageri said.


Sources said the Ministry of Environment and Forests had recently given environment clearance for relaxing the ash content of the coal from 4.75 to 12 per cent.


Land records


The Cabinet also approved the State’s participation in the National Land Records Modernisation Programme.


The Rs 100-crore project (of which 40 per cent would be the State’s share) provides for computerisation of land record, survey and computerisation of registration.

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