The allocation to the education sector has been raised by 16% by the Chief Minister of Jaipur in the present budget. The total allocation in the budget for the financial year 2015-16 for education sector has decided to be Rs 21,788.97 crore against the Rs 18,302.74 crore in the year 2013-14.
The majority of the overall allocated money on education comes from the Union government scheme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to the states. Though this year the raise of 348 crore with 30% slash in the SSA scheme and 21% in the Mid-day meal scheme in the Union budget seems to pose threatening challenges in meeting ends.
Surprisingly for the first time, in the past few years no new schools were announced and the focus remained on transiting the elementary schools to secondary ones and secondary to senior secondary ones. The government would upgrade 657 schools in the gram panchayats.
The state has allocated Rs 237.90 crore to construct 63 model schools and the majority of the 16% increase in the budget gets into completing the same. Another 200.66 crore has been allotted to refurbish the 71 model schools that were pending for a long time. Raje confessed that it was not possible with the grant given by the union government to refurbish these schools previously. But the irony is that the union government in this year’s budget has curtailed the grant for model schools by nearly 99.9%.
Government is also giving prominence in building scientific temper and has announced to give away financial assistance of Rs 10,000 to every student who has cleared National Talent Search Examination (NTSE). Raje has also announced about giving scooters to meritorious students and girls scoring above 75%.
It has also been decided that a new District Board of School Education would be constructed consisting, parents, teachers, civil society, public representatives and officials who would work on the direction of improving the quality of education. The State has formed State Higher Education Development Plan under which empowerment of allocation of grants to new universities and building of professional colleges and model universities would be given prominence. The budget also saw the allocation of Rs 33.93 crore for the refurbishing of 32-state universities which was much needed.