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Union Budget 2018-19: Focus on making education accessible to tribal children

With an objective to make education accessible and affordable to tribal children of the country, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitly on February 1, 2018 said by the year 2022, every block in the country with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons will have an Ekalavya Model Residential School.

“It has been decided that by the year 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Ekalavya Model Residential School,” the finance minister said.

While presenting the Union Budget 2018-19, the finance minister said that Ekalavya schools will be treated at par with Navodaya Vidyalayas.

“Ekalavya Model Residential Schools will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture, besides providing training in sports and skill development,” he added.

With regard to increase in investment in research and related infrastructure in leading educational institutions, the finance minister announced a proposal to launch “Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE)”.

“A total of INR 1, 00, 000 crore will be invested in research and related infrastructure in leading educational institutions over the next four years,” he said.

Giving emphasis on higher education, Jaitley said ‘‘Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF)’’ Scheme will be launched in the country.

“Over 1,000 best B.Tech students will be identified from premier institutions each year and facilities will be provided to them to undertake Ph.D in IITs and IISc with an attractive fellowship,” he said.

Saying that more than 100 applications have been received for setting up of Institutes of Eminence, he said steps have also been taken to set up specialized Railways University at Vadodara and 18 new Schools of Planning & Architecture (SPAs) in IITs and NITs.

“More than 100 applications have been received to set up Institutes of Eminence,” Jaitley said, adding “We have also taken steps to set up a specialized Railways University at Vadodara and over 18 new Schools of Planning & Architecture (SPAs) will also be established in IITs and NITs as autonomous schools.”

The finance minister emphasized on the need to reach out to old, widows, orphaned children, divyaang and the deprived and said a comprehensive social security and protection programme has also been implemented for them. He also said that INR 9, 975 crore has been allocated for the National Social Assistance Programme this year.

Emphasizing on the need to improve the quality of education in the country the finance minister said an integrated B.Ed. the programme for teachers will be initiated.

“We have managed to get children to school but the quality of education is still a cause of serious concern,” he said referring to B.Ed. the programme for teachers.

Saying that education will be treated in a holistic manner from pre-nursery to Class XII, the finance minister said the government is deciding to move from ‘black board’ to ‘digital board’ to promote digital education.

“Education will be treated in a holistic manner from pre-nursery to Class XII,” he said, adding, “The government is proposing to gradually move away from ‘black board’ to ‘digital board’.”

Here are the key highlights:

Teachers’ training: To improve the quality of education, an integrated B.Ed programme will be initiated for teachers.

Digitization of education: The government is proposing to gradually move away from ‘black board’ to ‘digital board’.”

Tribal education: By 2022, Ekalavya Model Residential Schools will be established in every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons. These schools will be treated at par with Navodaya Vidyalayas.

Higher education: Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme will be launched in the country and over 1,000 best B.Tech students will be identified from premier institutions to undertake Ph.D in IITs and IISc with an attractive fellowship.

Institutes of Eminence: More than 100 applications have been received for setting up of Institutes of Eminence. Steps have also been taken to set up specialized Railways University at Vadodara and 18 new Schools of Planning & Architecture (SPAs) in IITs and NITs.

Manmath Nayak

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