New Delhi: Education sector on Monday got a 24% hike in budgetary allocation for the next fiscal at Rs52,057 crore to take forward ambitious programmes like universalizing secondary education and increasing enrolment ratio in higher education.
The Union Budget also brought in cheers for SC and ST students with the announcement of introduction of a scholarship scheme for them at the pre-matric level.
“I propose an allocation of Rs52,057 crore, which is an increase of 24% over the current year,” said the finance minister while presenting the Budget.
Noting that the existing operational norms of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) have been revised to implement the right of children to free and compulsory education, he said Rs21,000 crore will be allocated for SSA which is 40% higher than the Rs15,000 crore allocated in 2010-11 Budget.
He also said a revised Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Vocationalisation of Secondary Education” will be implemented from 2011-12 to improve the employability of our youth.
The Government has already set up a Group of Ministers to recommend a National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework and preparation of a roadmap for its implementation. The GoM will submit its report by 31 July.
SC and ST students who till now only had access to post matric scholarships, will now get assistance at the pre-matric level too.
“While the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes had access to post-matric scholarships, there was so far a lack of pre-matric scholarship scheme. In 2011-12, I propose to introduce a scholarship scheme for needy students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes studying in classes ninth and tenth. It would benefit about 40 lakh Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students,” he said.
He said the ambitious National Knowledge Network (NKN) will link 1,500 Institutes of Higher Learning and Research through an optical fibre backbone by 2012. During the current year, 190 institutes will be connected to this network.
Stating that the Government has been providing special grants to recognize excellence in universities and academic institutions, Mukherjee said in his Budget speech that Rs50 crore each to upcoming centres of Aligarh Muslim University at Murshidabad in West Bengal and Malappuram in Kerala.
Rs100 crore was alloted as one-time grant to Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University at Pookode.
He also said that Rs200 crore will be given as one time grant to IIT, Kharagpur and Rs20 crore for IIM, Kolkata, to set up its financial research and trading laboratory.