We have massive public investment in education: PM

August 15th, 2008 - 12:34 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Aug 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday that the government has given special attention to the development of education, and made massive public investment in it, to ensure that every child has assess to it. “As someone who started his professional life as a teacher, I feel proud to say that our government has been giving special attention to the development of education in our country,” he said in his speech to mark India’s 62nd Independence Day.

He said the government had made massive increases in public investment in education at all levels - elementary, secondary education and higher education.

About 6,000 new high quality model schools, with at least one school in each block, had been established, he said.

Also, 373 new colleges were being opened in backward districts.

He said India was opening 30 new universities, eight IITs (Indian Institute of Technology), seven IIMs (Indian Institute of Management), 20 IIITs (Indian Institute of Information Technology), five Indian Institutes of Science, two Schools of Planning and Architecture, 10 NITs as well as 1,000 new polytechnics.

“I have called the 11th Five Year Plan our ‘National Education Plan’. We want every section of our society to get access to education. Every child belonging to a family of SC, ST, OBC and all minorities, every single child, boy or girl, must have access to modern education,” he said from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

He said the government was also implementing several new scholarship schemes for the educational development of children.

The prime minister said scholarships for children belonging to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, other backward classes and minority families in the middle and high school were being implemented, while special scholarships for meritorious students from this category was being launched.

He said while scholarships for overseas studies were being given to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students, national merit-cum-means scholarships for children from the economically weaker sections and with disabilities has been approved.

“We have established a new Skill Development Mission which will work under the supervision of the prime minister. A Skill Development Corporation will be created by the Government with the active participation of the private sector to give special training to our young men and women, our workers and our technicians,” he added.

He also said that the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan had been strengthened and the mid-day meal programme has been expanded up to the upper primary level in all districts of the country. “About 140 million children are being provided mid-day meals under this scheme.”

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