HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

UPA plans Rs. 3 lakh crore boost for education

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 01, 2013
First Published: 00:51 IST(1/10/2013) | Last Updated: 03:03 IST(1/10/2013)

To beat BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi claims on governance, the UPA government will soon unveil its major educational reform plan worth Rs. 3 lakh crore.

The country's top advisory body, the Planning Commission, has approved a major increase to existing educational programmes of the UPA government and has also given go ahead to launch the Rs. 99,000 crore National Mission on Higher Education, called Uchchatar Siksha Abhiyan.

Under the plan, the central funding for higher education institutions would be increased to 90% and it would also include private institutions who meet the new accreditation norms.

The overall aim of the Abhiyan is to increase the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education from present 18% to 30% by 2020. To achieve the target, the government will have to set-up quality higher education institutions, an important cornerstone of the mission.

The biggest fillip, the government aims to give is to school education whose budget for the 12th five year has been more than doubled to Rs. 1,93,000 crore.

The government's flagship lunch programme - the midday meal scheme - will get assistance of Rs. 63,000 crore in a bid to improve quality of meals given to children with measurement of its impact on a child's health.

The mega-education plan also includes building hostels for other backward classes students and setting up of new National Institutes of Technology at a cost of Rs. 15,513 crore. The scholarships for school going children from the deprived sections will be increased, government sources said.

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