Over 17 percent hike in education budget (Lead)

March 16th, 2012 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Friday announced over 17 percent hike in the budgetary allocation for education with an increased spending on the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme aimed at universaliztion of elementary education.

“I propose an allocation of Rs.48,781 crore for budget on education, with an increase of 17.6 percent over the current year,” Mukherjee said in parliament.

The finance ministry has also raised the budget allocation for implementation of the right to education. The ministry has announced new schools under SSA that has been operational for two years.

“I proposed an increase in allocation by 21.7 percent for right to education (RTE)-SSA to Rs.25,555 crore,” Mukherjee said.

“In the 12th (five year) plan (2012-17), 6,000 schools have been proposed to be set up at the block level as model schools to benchmark excellence. Of these, 2,500 will be set up under public-private partnership,” he said.

Covering nearly 192 million children across the country, the SSA is implemented in partnership with states.

The programme aims at opening new schools in areas where none exist and strengthen infrastructure through additional classrooms, toilets, drinking water, maintenance and school improvement grants.

The allocation for secondary education scheme Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) has also risen. The scheme aims at increasing access to secondary education - as a follow up to SSA.

“I have allocated Rs.3,124 crore for the RMSA, which is nearly 29 percent higher than the allocation in the current year,” Mukherjee added.

Under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, which became operative with effect from April 2010, no student up to Class 8 can be held back or expelled till he completes elementary education.

To ensure the flow of credit to students under education loan schemes, a credit guarantee fund has been proposed by the minister.

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