Sibal seeks PSEs help in literacy mission implementation | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Sibal seeks PSEs help in literacy mission implementation

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday asked the Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) to formulate an action plan for participating in the Government's recast literacy programme 'Saakshar Bharat' which aims at making 70 million people literate in coming years.

delhi Updated: May 19, 2010 17:24 IST

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday asked the Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) to formulate an action plan for participating in the Government's recast literacy programme 'Saakshar Bharat' which aims at making 70 million people literate in coming years.

He asked the PSEs to set up a five-member committee to discuss and formulate plans to help the government in raising the overall literacy rate to 80 per cent by 2012.

The PSEs like Shipping Corporation and GAIL will submit the report to the HRD Ministry within three months, he said.

"In the next two years we will be setting up 81,000 adult education centres (as part of the programme). We have already given grants of Rs 325 crore to 19 states. You (PSUs) can help us both in terms of talent and investment," Sibal told heads of PSUs and banks at an interactive session held by the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) in New Delhi.

The 'Saakshar Bharat' scheme, launched last September, aims at imparting functional literacy to illiterate adults in the 15 plus age group. It focusses on women (60 million) and socially backward classes.

He said the government is currently implementing the scheme in 167 of the total 367 districts identified across 19 states covering about 3.83 crore illiterates.

"...You have the money, talent and physical assets...You can use each one of these for taking education forward. You can even rent the assets to set up skill development centres in your physical establishments.

"In the area of setting up schools, we are going for Public-Private partnerships... You can join too by building physical assets for us as part of your corporate social responsibility. Other areas include providing incentives to volunteers whose output is of a certain level," he said.

Sibal said to extend financial help to the poor, the government plans to set up an Education and Finance Corporation.

"We are in the process of discussion regarding its establishment. We are trying to extend loan guarantee scheme for education...loan schemes for setting up institutions through re-financing schemes. Once you have a loan guarantee then banks are expected to reach out," he said.

The HRD minister said personally he wanted the country to achieve 100 per cent literacy by 2020.

"The Gross Enrolment Ratio of students going to college in India is 12.4 per cent compared to 40 per cent and above by developed countries. We need to fill that gap and require around 900 new universities and 35,000 colleges in the next 10 years to raise the ratio to 30 per cent," the minister said.