Karnataka: Education sector gets Rs 850 cr for infra upgrade

The budget aims to bring in more funds from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to improve schools in rural areas and for minorities.
The University of Visvesvaraya College of  Engineering
The University of Visvesvaraya College of Engineering(File photo)

BENGALURU: The state budget bets big on infrastructure development and improving the learning gap in primary and higher education with a focus on upskilling. A major portion of budget allotment for 2024-25 emphasises on upgradation (Rs 850 crore) of not just institutions, but also inclusion of newer grades in already-existing primary schools and introduction of pre-university colleges on school campuses.

The budget aims to bring in more funds from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to improve schools in rural areas and for minorities. A grant of Rs 10 lakh each will be made to upgrade science labs in PU colleges to improve enrolment of students in STEM courses and in science streams. A total of 2,000 primary schools will be upgraded to be bilingual, teaching both Kannada and English, given the demand for English medium schools in rural areas.

A training programme at a cost of Rs 10 crore will be introduced for 20,000 students preparing for NEET/JEE/CET in government PU colleges, announced Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. He also reiterated the government’s promise of providing free electricity and water at all government schools and PU colleges, benfiting 46,829 government schools and 1,234 colleges with a grant of Rs 25 crore.

But recruitment of teachers and lecturers which has been a persistent demand of students and experts has not been addressed nor any allotment made to address the shortage. The budget mentioned, in passing, that “Recruitment of teachers in various subjects in Government Primary, High  schools and PU Colleges in the state will be started.”  

To improve the participation of women in higher education, government women’ first grade colleges and women polytechnics will be upgraded at a cost of Rs 30 crore. Emphasis has been made on promoting scientific temperament in the state, while Rs 50 crore has been earmarked to provide science and computer labs and internet facilities under a two-year package in high schools.

A majority of the budget for social welfare and minority welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes includes upgradation of residential schools and development of new hostels to cater to the growing demand.

Knowledge economy

  • The University of Visvesvaraya College of  Engineering (UVCE) will be upgraded on the  lines of IIT at Rs 500 crore. The government will give Rs 100 crore, while the rest will have to be mobilised through CSR funds.

  • To help students and teachers file patents, a corpus of Rs 10 crore will be created.

  • Navu Manujaru – a two-hour interactive weekly class in all schools and  colleges on ideas of social harmony, scientific temper and coexistence -- will be introduced.

  • Rs 54 crore allocated for Mysuru Maharani Women’s Science College and Rs 116 crore for building a hostel at Maharani Arts and Commerce College

Social welfare gets Rs 4Kcr boost

G Subhash Chandra @ Chitradurga

Demonstrating his commitment for the uplift of SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities, CM Siddaramaiah announced an allocation of Rs 39,121 crore for this sector -- a significant increase of Rs 4,827 crore over the previous allocation of Rs 34,294 crore. It includes Rs 27,674 crore for a Scheduled Castes sub-plan and Rs 11,448 crore for a Scheduled Tribes sub-plan.

Education sector a priority

  • Rs 2,710 cr for construction of residential schools, hostels of SCs, STs, backward classes and minority welfare departments

  • 29 new residential school complexes will be started at a cost of `638 crore, residential schools by KREIS in 20 hoblis, 18 new hostels

  • 31 new postmatric hostels to boost higher education among SC/STs

  • Food allowance increased by Rs 100 per month for students in hostels and residential schools run by social welfare, tribal welfare, backward classes and minority welfare department

  • All schools which have Classes 1 to 5 will get Class 6 from the next academic year; Schools having Class 7 will get Class 8

  • Strength of schools will increase from 25 to 40 students

  • 14 hostels each for boys and girls, with a strength of 100 students, to be set up in 7 districts

  • Stipend of Rs 15,000 for 200 engineering graduates enrolled in 6-12 month vocational training courses such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in IISc, IITs, NITs

  • Skill development

  • Training to be imparted to 5,000 budding photographers in drone-based photography and videography

  • Monthly stipend of Rs 25,000 for 100 research students pursuing post-doctoral fellowship programme and not receiving any fellowship

  • Two initiatives for comprehensive development of 23 nomadic, semi-nomadic communities like Koraga, Jenu Kuruba, Yarava, Kadu Kuruba, Soliga, Gonda, Siddhi, Malaikudi, Kudiya, Hasalaru, Gowdalu, Bettakuruba, Hakki-Pikki, Iruliga, Rajagonda, Harinishikari and others

  • Rs 1 crore to a special cell for one year to enable STs to get ration cards and other government documents

Renaming of Ashram schools

Vacant posts in tribal welfare dept to be filled

Ashram Schools run by the department to be renamed Maharshi Valmiki Adivasi Budakattu Residential Schools

Rs 1,750 crore for corporations

  • Funds to set up study chair in memory of Padmashri Dr Siddalingaiah at Bengaluru University

  • Programmes at a cost of Rs 1,750 crore will be formulated through various corporations under social welfare and tribal welfare dept

Rare diseases treatment corpus

  • Rs 35 crore corpus fund to be created to provide financial assistance to SC/ST patients suffering from rare medical diseases

  • Destitute shelter with capacity of 500 inmates will come up in East Bengaluru ata cost of Rs 10 crore

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