Expect something good in the budget for education sector: Javadekar

New Delhi: “Expect something good in the budget also because we want to expand quality education in all corners of the nation” Union Human Resourses HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday. According to the minister, the number of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) will see an increase in the 2018-19 fiscal and a provision will be made in the upcoming Budget. Finance minister Arun Jaitley will present his government’s last full budget on February 1.

Press Trust of India reported that the HRD minister also said more announcements will be made in the Budget 2018 with an aim to address the education divide in parts of the country.

For the current fiscal, Rs 46,356.25 crore budget allocation was made for the HRD Ministry.

In his last budget presentation, Mr. Jaitley had announced an innovation fund for secondary education, a national agency to be instituted that will be in-charge of conducting all entrance exams for higher education, two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) institutes in Jharkhand and Gujarat and a system of annual learning outcome in schools.

The budget 2017 also proposed certain colleges and institutions to be identified and granted an autonomous status.

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For the current fiscal, Rs 46,356.25 crore budget allocation was made for the HRD Ministry.

For the AIIMSs, Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply told Rajya Sabha in December last year, the Gujarat state government has offered four sites for establishment of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Gujarat, with the Central team having inspected the sites offered by the State and submitted its report. He also told the upper house that a site in Deoghar, offered by the State government, has been finalised for establishment of an AIIMS in Jharkhand.

Learning outcomes by the NCERT and the massive National Achievement Survey (NAS) for competency based evaluation of school students were the major exercises conducted by the ministry’s school education department in the year gone by.

In November, the Union Cabinet approved creation of National Testing Agency (NTA) as a Society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions, however, the agency is yet start its operation.

“The Modi government’s effort is expansion of quality education. … We have granted 65 Navodaya Vidyalayas (for this year) and in the budget 2018, it will increase further,” Mr Javadekar told reporters, informing that these Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) will be opened in new districts.

JNVs are being set up under the central scheme since 1986 to bring out the best of the rural talent. So far, JNVs are established in more than 638 districts across the country.

For the 2017-18 fiscal, Rs 2,700 crore budget allocation was provided for JNVs, which are run by an autonomous organisation called the Navodaya Vidyalayas Samiti (NVS). Stating that the government wants to improve access to quality education, Mr Javadekar said it is because “we have found out that in parts of the country there is either digital or education divide.”

For instance, there are maximum colleges in Bengaluru, Karnataka and also in Tamil Nadu, but less in states like Jharkhand and Bihar.