Union Budget 2018: More funds to flow in; education gets a fillip

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also mentioned the Prime Minister Fellowship Scheme with an attractive fellowship of Rs 70-80,000 for 1,000 best BTech students.

Published: 02nd February 2018 02:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2018 07:01 AM   |  A+A-

File Image of BJP flag for Representational Purposes. | Express Photo Services

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: SARV Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), which aims to give free and compulsory education to children between 6-14 years of age under the Right to Education Act, will be expanded to include students from pre-primary to Class XII.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also mentioned the Prime Minister Fellowship Scheme with an attractive fellowship of Rs 70-80,000 for 1,000 best BTech students from premier institutes to pursue PhDs in IITs and at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

The total budgetary allocation for the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, which includes the Department of School Education and Literacy and the Department of Higher Education is Rs 85,800 crore this year, up by Rs 13, 800 crore from last year.

There is also a proposal to set up two full-fledged schools of planning and architecture and 18 new ones as autonomous entities in IITs and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) under the challenge method.
Centrally-funded institutes such as IITs, IIMs, NITs, Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and Central universities, however, will no longer receive budget grants for expanding and building new infrastructure. Instead, all infrastructure financing will be moved to the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA).

According to official sources, the government on an average has been giving Rs 10,000 crore every year to all CFIs in higher education for infrastructure development. Under the new funding model called Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE), Central universities and institutes will be able to borrow up to Rs 1,00,000 crore in the next four years.

To provide education to tribals in their local environment, “by 2022, every block with more than 50 per cent Scheduled Tribe population and at least 20,000 tribal people will have Ekalavya schools at par with Navodaya Vidyalayas”, Jaitley said in his Budget speech. Among the other education measures announced by the government was increased digital intensity in education.

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