India Education
'Government schemes ensuring more children in schools'
Mar 9, 2007 - 10:02:17 PM

New Delhi, March 9 - The government's elementary education programme and mid-day meal scheme have helped in increasing the number of school-going children considerably, Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh said here Friday.

The number of out-of-school children has come down to less than five percent of the total population in the age group 6 to 14 years, from 44 million in 2001-02 to seven million in 2006, Singh said.

The minister claimed an overall increase of 22.4 percent in literacy, primary, secondary and higher education over the previous year. 'In the field of higher and technical education the increase is of the order of 156 percent. We have not yet reached the target of 6 percent of GDP, but these are steps towards that goal.'

A total of Rs.73.24 billion has been proposed for the mid-day meal scheme for 2007-08 that will include 3,247 educationally backward blocks in India.

New 1,000 girls' schools called 'Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas' have been approved. Already 1,180 such residential schools with 75 percent reservation for girls belonging to backward classes and minority community are in place.

Outlay for secondary education is being raised by 191 percent over the existing allocation of Rs.31.64 billion in the current financial year.

An amount of Rs.26.98 billion could be provided to Central Educational Institutions for implementing reservations for backward classes in these institutions to ensure that reservation does not result in reduction of seats there.

An amount of Rs.50.2 million has also been made for the National Mission for Education through distance learning, said Singh.

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