18% hike in budgetary allocation for education sector; higher edu gets Rs 15458 cr

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has announced a hike of
about 18 per cent in the budgetary allocation for the education sector. An
outlay of 61,427 crore has been allocated in which 22 per cent increase has
been announced for the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. Rs 15458 crore has been earmarked
for higher education while school education has received Rs 45969 crore.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has dubbed the budget as ‘road to
empowerment’, said “in a difficult year like this, it is commendable that
the Finance Minister has continued to invest in education”.

The Finance Minister also announced a 29 per cent increase
for the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). Both the RMSA and SSA
programmes are aimed at increasing enrolment levels in schools.

6000 model schools are also announced which would be set up
at the block level to benchmark excellence. Of these, 2500 will be set up under
PPP mode.

Focusing on the skill development issue, the Finance
Minister proposed to set up a separate credit guarantee fund to improve flow of
institutional credit for skill development.

He said a new scheme titled “himayat” introduced
in Jammu and Kashmir last year aims to provide skill training to one lakh youth
in the next five years and the entire cost of this programme is being borne by
the government.

[Source: IBNLive]

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