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Mukh Mantri Vigyan Yatra: Capt Amarinder govt cuts down budget for scheme launched by Badal regime

The trips to the Science City were supposed to be undertaken from May onwards, but the new government has failed to issue a notification in this regard to the educational authorities so far.

punjab Updated: Jul 18, 2017 12:53 IST
Jatinder Mahal
Jatinder Mahal
Hindustan Times, Kapurthala
Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan,Mukh Mantri Vigyan Yatra,Capt Amarinder
School students during their visit to Science City in Kapurthala under the Mukhya Mantri Vigyan Yatra. (HT Photo)

The much-hyped Mukh Mantri Vigyan Yatra scheme, launched by the previous SAD-BJP regime, seems to be losing steam under the present Congress government in the state.

The scheme involves taking school students from across the state on free educational trips to Pushpa Gujral Science City in Kapurthala.

The government has already slashed the transportation budget for the scheme from Rs 5 crore to a meagre Rs 1 crore for the 2017-18 session.

The trips to the Science City were supposed to be undertaken from May onwards, but the new government has failed to issue a notification in this regard to the educational authorities so far.

Sources in the education department said that during the 2016-17 session, the Akali government had started the trips in May and covered around 1.4 lakh school children under the scheme. However, the trips were put on a halt in winters due to foggy days and the examinations thereafter.

The previous government had fixed a target of 4.5 lakh students to visit the science city every year.

“It will be not possible for the education department to arrange the visit of even 2 lakh students to the science city in this session, as only a few months are left for the arrival of winter season, to be followed by examinations,” a senior official of the education department said, requesting anonymity.

The Centre has sanctioned Rs 4.25 crore to the state government under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Sikhsha Abhiyan (RMSA) to purchase tickets of students for the science city trip under the Mukh Mantri Vigyan Yatra scheme. The previous government had fixed a budget of Rs 5 crore for transportation and paid Rs 2.55 crore as expenses to state roadways and the transport department. But in the current session,the Congress government has earmarked only Rs 1 crore budget for science city trips .

“Despite the hike in diesel prices, the government has cut down the transportation budget. With this, the scheme will collapse midway as the state-run buses will not get their fare charges,” a senior official of the transport department said.

When contacted, director general, school education, Prashant Kumar Goyal said, “We will start students’ trips to science city very soon.” Asked about the reduction in transportation budget, he said he will look into the matter and “do the needful to ensure the success of the scheme.”

BLURB Govt has slashed transportation budget for the scheme from Rs 5 cr to Rs 1 cr for 2017-18 session

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 12:52 IST