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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Right to Education Bill soon in Indian Parliament

The government will soon introduce in Parliament the Right to Education Bill, 2005 guaranteeing free and compulsory education to every child aged between 6 and 14.

“This is the surest way of ensuring rapid inclusive growth,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the 80th annual general body meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry here on Friday.

States’ opposition

The announcement comes a day after Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh met Dr. Singh to seek his ‘guidance’ on the Bill, which is being opposed by States for its huge financial implications. The draft was circulated to the States but the Ministry has not received a positive response.

Efforts have been made for long to bring all States on board before the Bill is introduced for, it is they which have to implement it. The Minister has written several letters to the Chief Ministers.

Dr. Singh said there was no modern industrial economy which did not have at least 80 per cent literacy, while in India it was still below 70 per cent. “We have, therefore, made education a priority area for public policy. The share of expenditure on education in the Central Gross Budgetary Support is going to go up from less than eight per cent in the 10th Plan to over 19 per cent in the 11th Plan.”

The government was setting up 30 new Central universities, 370 colleges in educationally backward districts, 6,000 top-class schools in each development block, eight Indian Institutes of Technology, 20 Indian Institutes of Information Technology, seven Indian Institutes of Management and five Indian Institutes of Scientific Education and Research.

The government would shortly unfold a massive mission design to upgrade the quantity and quality of skill formation. The details of the National Vocational Mission were being worked out.

Expressing concern over affordability of healthcare and quality of public health, Dr. Singh said: “We need reform of our healthcare system, especially our public hospitals. Private healthcare cannot address all health needs of our people. Hence, we are looking at new models of affordable health insurance and other related strategies.”


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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