Bengal among 9 states to get more Sarva Siksha fund
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Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are among the nine states that will get enhanced Central share under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan programme, with the Planning Commission approving a proposal to this effect. All the nine states have literacy levels less than the national average states and therefore will be getting funds in the ratio of 75:25 as against the existing ratio of 65:35.
Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand will also be included along with the northeastern states where funding is in the 90:10 ratio, HRD Ministry officials said.
The proposal has to be vetted by the National Development Council before coming into effect.
The average national literacy level as per the 2011 census stands at 74.04 per cent, whereas literacy level of Bihar is 63.8 per cent and Uttar Pradesh is 71.7 per cent. Orrisa has 65.9 per cent literacy rate, while Rajasthan has 67.1 per cent, Jharkhand has 67.6 per cent and Madhya Pradesh has 70.6 per cent. Several states, including Bihar and UP, had been clamouring for enhanced Centre's share arguing that they are unable to pump their share of resources for the programme.
SSA is the government's flagship programme for achievement of universalisation of elementary education in a time-bound manner, as mandated by the 86th Amendment to the Constitution, making free and compulsory education to children of 6-14 years age group a fundamental right.
The programme seeks to open new schools in those areas which do not have schooling facilities and strengthen existing infrastructure through provision of additional classrooms, toilets, drinking water, maintenance grant and school improvement grants.
Expenditure under the SSA increased to Rs 38,000 crore in
2011-12 from Rs 32,000 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 21,000 crore in 2009-10.
Since its introduction in 2000-01, nearly three lakh
elementary schools have been opened under SSA and 20 lakh teachers' posts have been sanctioned.
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