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KPA to approach courts to take over the Mavoor Grasim Industries lands

The Kerala Pravasi Association (KPA) will approach the court demanding that the land in Mavur owned by Grasim Rayons be seized. Even two decades after the closure of the company, the land remains abandoned by the Grasim Industries.
KPA highlighted that it was time for the Government to take over the land in Mavur owned by Birla; provide direction to start government-owned enterprises on this land and facilitate those are are able and experienced to start the industry.

KPA will approach the court with the above demands. Currently, the party has joined hands in the case filed against the Birla Corporation, in the High Court. In the meanwhile, KPA plans to organize a seminar in Mavur, in the second week of March, to explore the industrial potential of the land along with continuing the legal process.

The seminar will be organized by including political leaders and experts. The theme of the seminar is “Development Possibilities of Malabar in view of Grasim land in Mavur”. The date of the event will be announced in the near future.

Grasim Industries shut down their company in Kozhikode in 2001, while the land continues to remain in possession of the Birla Group management. 246 acres of the land, which was acquired by the Government in three phases was handed to the company and should have been returned when the wood pulp factory ceased operations. Denial in doing so, provides the government to provision to seize the land.

But even after two decades of its closure the land remains as is. On March 21, 2006 an order for demolition within 30 days was passed, the process was caught in legal wrangles with both the LDF and UDF governments, the Birla Group obtained stay orders from the High Court and ceased all plans to vacate. It continues to remain a mystery that the government reversed the order.

The possibilities on how to utilize the land in a better way that will ensure maximum job opportunities to the people, can lead to a big development revolution in the Malabar area. This was the core purpose behind EMS government’s handing over of the land to the Gwalior Rayons Company as well. Mavur, once known as the “High Wage Island” because of Gwalior Industries , must be given the opportunity to reclaim that title.

KPA demands that the Pinarayi government should honor this and make that dream of EMS a reality. KPA National Chairman Rajendran Vellapalath, Kozhikode District Secretary Mansoor Muin, district committee members Venugopal Vetummal, Shaji MK, Mavur Panchayat Committee Secretary Sajevan led the press conference, asking for an immediate step up

Foreign Universities must be welcomed, to prevent brain drain and financial loss for Indian students

A radical change is necessary in the higher education sector in India by welcoming International universities and institutions to the country. By giving foreign universities an opportunity to operate their campus in our country, the country can retain its foreign students, promote India as a global education hub as well as save foreign exchange losses.
In a first, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has unveiled a draft regulation facilitating foreign universities and institutions to set up campuses in India which will allow them the autonomy in determining fees, as well as a 90-day approval process.

After Chinese students, today Indians make up the largest number of foreign students in countries such as the US, UK and Australia.

By promoting India as a global education hub, the Ministry of External Affairs hopes to retain the estimated 1.3 lakh students (2022 figures) who are studying abroad. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) this accounts for foreign exchange of Rs 5 billion (FY 2021-2022), which was lost as students chose to pursue their education abroad.

Welcoming foreign universities will pave the way for India to become a global destination for education. This will not only prevent brain drain and financial loss of Indian students studying abroad but also attract foreign students to India. These institutions will also have the autonomy to decide its fee structure and will not face the limits imposed on Indian institutions, as long as they are ‘fair and transparent’. The universities must also ensure they do not offer ‘any such programs which may endanger the national interest of India or the standard of higher education in India.’

A legislative framework facilitating the entry will be put in place, and universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India. The Foreign Exchange Management Act will be followed when it comes to situations involving money and funding.

But along with this, it is also time necessary for the government to develop better infrastructure, that will support international students, in the country. Better jobs and better safety must be prioritized. The long term impact on the existing Indian educational institutions may also prove to be beneficial. The current breed of outdated institutions in India will be subject to dose of competition, which will turn to be positive. It will encourage competition among various players in the country and allow faculty-to-faculty research collaboration among various universities.

Such moves should be welcomed at this time when a radical change in the field of education is necessary. Before voicing any opposition, we should be ready to assess how this move will benefit the future of education in India and our future generations. Now is not the time for cynicism and criticism.

KPA wholeheartedly welcomes the decision by the UGC.

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