Rs 38,702 crore earmarked for education

Written by Agencies | New Delhi, February 29: | Updated: Feb 29 2008, 21:44pm hrs
With 11th Five Year plan giving special focus on education, government on Friday earmarked a whopping over Rs 38,702 crore to the sector in the Union Budget 2008-09, showing a massive increase of over Rs 9,000 crore.

A sum of Rs 27,850 crore has been provided for school education as compared to last year's revised estimate of Rs 23,191.35 crore.

Of this, elementary education has been given Rs 19,777.50 crore this year as against Rs 18,439.61 crore the previous year. Of this, a bulk of Rs 13,100 crore would be provided to flagship programme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to universalise education in the country.

The Mid-day Meal Scheme which would receive Rs 8,000 crore would be extended to all children upto upper primary level (from class I to VIII) in all areas across the country.

Allocation for the secondary education has been doubled with Rs 5,139.70 crore in 2008-09 as against Rs 2,465.18 crore last year.

With government proposing to set up high quality model schools, a sum of Rs 582.80 crore has been earmarked for this purpose during the year. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his Independence Day address last year had announced setting up of 6,000 new High Quality schools - one in every block of the country.

Higher education has received a special attention in the budget with an allocation of Rs 10,852.87 crore as against Rs 6,397.36 crore in the revised estimate last year.

Of this, the University and Higher Education sector has received Rs 5,234.76 crore this year as against Rs 3,699.43 crore last year.

A major chunk of Rs 5,104.90 crore would go to University Grants Commission (UGC) this year which included a provision of Rs 875 crore towards implementation of the Oversight Commission recommendations for meeting the requirement for enhanced number of students in Central Universities.

Rs 45.45 crore has been allocated for Area Intensive and Madrasa Modernisation Programme this year as compared to Rs 44.50 crore last year.