New Delhi: Wishing to see a revolution in modern education in the next few years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 15 August said the government will invest in setting up 6,000 good quality schools across the country.
In his Independence Day address, he said the government is also finalising an extensive programme for universalising secondary education and will help the states set up colleges in 370 districts.
“Our government has decided to invest in setting up good quality schools across the country. We will support 6,000 new high quality schools -- one in every block of the country,” Singh said.
The Prime Minister said the University system, which has been relatively neglected in recent years, is now the focus of our reform and development agenda. “We will set up 30 new Central Universities. Every state that does not have a central university will now have one,” he said.
Stressing on promoting professional education, Singh said the government was setting up five new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, eight new Indian Institutes of Technology, seven new Indian Institutes of Management and 20 new Indian Institutes of Information Technology.
“I wish to see a revolution in the field of modern education in the next few years. It is my fervent desire that India becomes a fully educated, modern progressive nation,” he said.
Singh also said that the government will soon launch a Mission on Vocational Education and Skill Development through which 1,600 new industrial training institutes and polytechnics, 10,000 new vocational schools and 50,000 new skill development centres would be set up.
“We will seek the help of private sector in the vocational educational initiatives so that they not only assist in training but also lend a hand in providing employment opportunities,” he said.
“We should seek not just functional literacy but good quality education -- education that is affordable, accessible, equitable,” Singh said.
Farm Sector Development
Describing farmers welfare as the core of all concerns, Manmohan Singh announced a slew of measures, including a whopping Rs 25,000 crore investment in the agricultural sector.
Singh said the key initiatives of his government would include massive increase in public spending on education, health care, agriculture and rural development.
“Over the last three years, we have significantly increased public expenditure in the social sectors. This is in line with our commitment to the welfare of the aam aadmi (common man),” he said.
To promote social security in unorganised sector, he unveiled an old age pension scheme for senior citizens above 65 years and below poverty line. Besides life and disability cover, there would be a new health insurance scheme for the poor, he said.
The entire country would be covered by the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which is presently in operation in 330 selected districts, the Prime Minister said.
To address the issue of unrest arising out of the setting up of Special Economic Zones and industrial projects, Singh said a national policy for rehabilitation and resettlement was on the anvil.