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Kerala education minister faces black flag protest over plus-one seat shortage

Activists from the Kerala Students’ Union (KSU) protested against General Education Minister V Sivankutty by waving black flags and placing them on his official vehicle. This demonstration, part of an ongoing protest over the alleged shortage of plus-one seats in northern Kerala’s Malabar region, occurred as the minister’s car left his official residence. Police intervened to remove the protestors, allowing the minister to continue his journey.

In response to the protests, the minister’s office announced a discussion with various student organizations to address the plus-one seat issue on June 25 at the secretariat. Despite the ongoing controversy, plus-one classes are scheduled to commence in 2,076 government, aided, and unaided schools across Kerala on Monday. The protests intensified following the suicide of a girl student in Malappuram district, who was reportedly anxious about securing a plus-one seat.

The Kerala government has faced criticism over the seat shortage, with the Congress party and KSU demanding additional plus-one batches in Malabar schools. However, Minister Sivankutty argued there is no crisis, claiming thousands of seats remain vacant annually after admissions are completed. He also stated that temporary additional batches are permitted each year to ensure students can choose their preferred study streams.


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