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The Frock Will Get You
Just two months in power and the Left Democratic Front is already in a major tussle with the powerful church lobby. The issue: a new law aimed at cleaning up the higher education sector which the church says is "anti-minority". What has hurt is a stipulation that at least 50 per cent students belong to the respective minority community for a professional college to claim said status. Minority status can also be withheld if a college upsets the region’s ‘social balance’. Now if it goes by the book, then the lucrative ‘management quota’ seats get sharply reduced, an issue of much heartburn for the Christian and Muslim communities. Education minister M.A. Baby did meet Cardinal Mar Varkey Vithayathil to urge the clergy’s cooperation in "ensuring social justice". But it’s a stalemate. A bishops’ delegation has met the PM and Sonia Gandhi to find a solution. Meanwhile, admission to some 80,000 seats in professional colleges is in limbo.