Education gets over Rs.103 bn for capacity building

May 22nd, 2008 - 6:31 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) The government Thursday approved Rs.103.28 billion for upgrading educational infrastructure, a month after the Supreme Court cleared 27 percent quota for other backward classes (OBC) students in higher academic institutions. The outlay approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) would be spent during the Eleventh Plan period on enhancing the capacity of central universities, managements and technical institutions by 54 percent.

“The outlay will ensure that general category seats in elite academic institutions increase in proportion to 27 percent being reserved for OBC students. As a result, the seats under non-reserved category students do not get affected,” Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

Capacity building up to 54 percent was a key recommendation of the Oversight Committee headed by former Karnataka chief minister Veerappa Moily to suggest ways to implement quota as per provisions in the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Bill, 2006. The Supreme Court cleared the bill April 10, 2008.

“The implementation of recommendations of Oversight Committee will benefit the students of central universities, technical and management institutes,” Chidambaram said.

All central academic institutions are implementing 27 percent OBC quota either in part or in full from the current academic session.

The Oversight Committee, constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to recommend ways for implementing the OBC quota, had also recommended implementing quota in a staggered manner, in view of the “infrastructure crunch” in institutes and universities where 27 percent seats were to be set aside for OBC students.

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