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Centre designing scheme to replace SSA: Javadekar

Centre designing scheme to replace SSA: Javadekar
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Praising the Union budget as -'revolutionary-', Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said the government was...

New Delhi: Praising the Union budget as "revolutionary", Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said the government was designing a new scheme, based on composite schooling from pre-primary to class 12, in place of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

He added that if the total expenditure on education was taken into consideration, it had already touched "five per cent" of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Detailing the salient features of the budget related to the HRD ministry, Javadekar told reporters, "We are designing a new scheme, based on a composite schooling system from pre- primary to class 12, in place of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)."

The infrastructure in the education sector would get a boost with the "funding of Rs one lakh crore" over the next four years, he said. "The government will boost the education infrastructure by spending funds meant for four-five years in two years. It will then replenish the funds.

Essentially, it is updating the infrastructure and creating research facilities in advance," Javadekar added. The government would also try to stop the brain drain by providing good laboratories and faculty members to the students under the prime minister's scholarship, which would be Rs 80,000 per month, he said.

The minister also cited various schemes and initiatives like the digital board, Eklavya hostels to be developed at par with the Navodaya schools, learning outcome and national assessment, teachers' training etc. as big projects to boost the education sector.

The SCERTs and DIETs responsible for teachers' training that were "lying dead" would also be strengthened, he said, adding that 13 lakh teachers were currently undergoing the DlEd (diploma in elementary education) training and would appear in the exam in March.

Javadekar said remunerative prices for the farmers was one of the features that made the budget "revolutionary". "Provisions for the lower-middle class and poor such as the universal health insurance, tax break for senior citizens, two crore housing units each for the rural and urban poor, provisions for the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises are all big features of the budget," he added.

The HRD ministry would start its work on the budgetary provisions, so that they could be implemented from the new fiscal beginning in April, the minister said.

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