Setback for Edu sector
- Only marginal allocations for key departments - JNTUs in CM and Dy CM constituencies get funds - Rs 353 cr for IIITs, less than last year -...
- Only marginal allocations for key departments - JNTUs in CM and Dy CM constituencies get funds - Rs 353 cr for IIITs, less than last year - Universities too get meagre allocations - No word on upgradation of polytechnics - Rs 16,990 cr for primary education - Rs 4,082 cr for higher education Contrary to the high expectations, the education sector got very marginal allocations in the budget presented by Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayana Reddy on Monday. A provision of Rs 16,990 crore is made for primary education whereas Higher Education gets just Rs 4082 crore. Though the allocations are higher than last year's proposals, officials attribute them that they are paltry and can meet only increased costs and expenses. Government announced that construction of kitchen sheds under mid-day meal scheme is underway and that nearly 70.54 lakh children in 61,415 primary nd 9216 upper primary and 10292 high schools will stand benefited under the scheme. "A total of 2143 school buildings at a cost of 670 crore is also underway under RMSA and out of this 1853 buildings are already completed," the Minister said. Under Rajiv Vidya Mission (i.e. SSA), 22342 additional classrooms have been sanctioned and construction of 3073 have already been completed, he added. This is just a rehash of what the government has done in the two rounds of "Education Fortnight" conducted in July-August last year. As far as Higher Education is concerned, the picture is even more disappointing. Government has announced only one new JNTU engineering college at Manthani (Constituency of D Sridhar Babu, Minister for Civil Supplies) with the help of Singareni Collaries. It has sanctioned Rs 2.5 crore for acquisition of land and other necessary basic things. Out of the two JNTU Colleges, Rs 100 cr has been allocated for the college at Kalikiri in Chittor district (CM's constituency) and Rs 121 crore for Sultanpur in Medak district (Dy CM constituency). A paltry sum of Rs 50 crore have been given for construction of buildings for the ten new universities. That means, each university at Srikakulam, Rajahmundry, Machilipatnam, Nellore, Kadapa, Mahbubnagar, Nizamabad, Nalgonda, Karimnagar gets just five crore which will no way meet any major expenditure, officials said. Anam has also formally announced setting up of five new polytechnic colleges at Chinamerangi (Vizianagaram district), Narpala (Anantapuram district), Kosigi (Mahbubnagar district), Cheryal (Warangal) and Chegunta (Medak). The government has also boasted of making efforts to set up two medical colleges at Nizamabad and Nellore and that the older colleges would get MCI certification soon. But things appear not that rosy as MCI is said to be not happy with the way upgradation works this year as well. The increase of diet charges has also found mention in the budget. Nearly 8.48 lakh BC, SC, ST and Minority students residing in government hostels will stand benefited by it and an allocation of Rs 250.66 crore have been made. Government has made commitment on fee reimbursement and scholarship issues and announced a budgetary allocation of Rs 5533 crore for the next financial year. This is more than 400 crore compared to last year. The allocation for three IIITs, which come under RGUKT, is pegged at Rs 353 crore, which is less than the amount given last year. As the interest among students to join in IIITs at Basara, Nuzvid and Idupulapaya has been declining, government might have slashed the allocation, experts said. As part of making Telugu language promotion campaign, government sanctioned Rs 25 crore which will be spent for cultural programmes all through the year.