Centre likely to enhance funding for RTE

Nine States including Andhra Pradesh, where literacy rate is lower than the national average, may get enhanced Central funding for implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) from the 12th Five Year Plan.

Planning Commission in its recent meeting, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has cleared the Human Resource Ministry proposal for enhancing the Central share from the current 65 per cent to 75 for the implementation of RTE Act and SSA in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

It also approved the HRD ministry’s proposal to enhance the Central share from the current 65 per cent to 90 for the implementation of the two schemes, clubbed together, in the state of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. So far, funds were being released only to North-Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir in 90:10 ratio.

The proposal will now be placed at the meeting of National Development Council for their approval before it is taken up by the Union cabinet for a final decision, a HRD Ministry official said.

As per 2011 census, the national rate of literacy is 74.04 per cent while it is 67.66 in Andhra Pradesh, 67.63 in Jharkhand, 67.06 in Rajasthan, 63.82 in Bihar, 71.04 in Chhattisgarh, 70.63 in Madhya Pradesh, 73.45 in Odisha and 69.72 in Uttar Pradesh .

Several States including these nine, with lower literacy rate were demanding enhanced allocation from the Centre for the implementation of RTE and SSA since a long time. Despite improvements in the learning achievement levels of the children, according to a government study, there have been deficiencies in the learning standards of a significant percentage of children.

If the proposal of the HRD Ministry had its way, it will help lagging States improve their school infrastructure and quality of education, sources added.

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