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Ians

New Delhi: Over 15,000 schools will be qualitatively strengthened as per reforms proposed in the new National Education Policy (NEP), which will help in handholding and mentoring other schools, according to the Union Budget for 2021-22 announced on Monday. Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on Monday said the National Research Foundation (NRF) will be strengthened to promote new inventions in the country. An allocation of Rs 50,000 crore has been made in the budget for this. Along with this the creation of over 15,000 'Adarsh Vidyalayas' (model schools) was also announced.

He informed that the 'Adarsh Vidyalayas' will be set up across the country. The objective of the 'Adarsh Vidyalaya Scheme' would be to create one primary and one elementary school in each block and one secondary and one senior secondary school in each district. It would have a safe learning environment where a wide range of learning experiences will be offered.

The Minister said a total of 15,552 schools would be developed as 'Adarsh Vidyalayas'. These additional funds amounting to Rs 4,684 crore (comprising the state's share) would be given as a component of the "Samagra Shiksha Yojana".

There is also talk of making elaborate arrangements for education in tribal areas as well.

Nishank said, "The establishment of 750 Eklavya schools in tribal-dominated areas and setting up of a Central university in Leh would strengthen the country's educational system. It has also been proposed to open 100 new army schools in association with NGOs and private schools."

The Minister told IANS that one primary and one elementary school per block that is, 7,047 primary and 7,047 elementary schools are proposed in this budget.

They would be given funding for adequate infrastructure and pre-primary level kindergarten including quality interventions, capacity building of teachers, teaching material, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and smart classroom facilities.

While talking about the proposed allocation of Rs 50,000 crore for the NRF, the Union Minister said, "Knowledge creation and research have an important role in developing and maintaining a large and vibrant economy. This not only uplifts the society, but also provides inspiration in continuously taking the nation to even greater heights."

He said that the budget of 'Aatmanirbhar' (self-reliant) India has given importance to the NRF which would ensure strengthening of the overall research ecosystem in the country along with focusing on identified national priority areas.

Nishank said, "With the vision of National Education Policy 2020 to provide good quality education and to make it accessible and affordable for all, the 'Adarsh Vidyalaya Yojana' under the "Samagra Shiksha Yojana" and proposal to start world-class schools in Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas," has been made.

He praised the budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, saying, "This budget has been prepared keeping in mind the development of the entire country. Its provisions will strengthen the entire education system of the country."

Union Budget 2021: 100 New Sainik Schools To Be Set Up

A total of 100 new Sainik Schools will also be set up in partnership with NGOs, private schools and states.

"More than 15,000 schools will be qualitatively strengthened to include all components of the National Education Policy. They shall emerge as exemplar schools in their regions, handholding and mentoring other schools to achieve the ideals of the policy," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech.

Making board exams easy, reduction of curriculum to core concepts, replacement of 10+2 structure of school curricula with a 5+3+3+4 structure and teaching up to at least class 5 in the mother tongue or a regional language, are among the many school education reforms outlined in the new National Education Policy, which was announced last year. This is the first budget after the notification of the new NEP.

"A total of 100 new Sainik Schools will be set up in partnership with NGOs, private schools and states," Sitharaman said.

The Sainik Schools are a system of schools in India established and managed by the Sainik Schools Society under the Ministry of Defence. There are over 30 Sainik Schools in the country at present.

The Ministry of Education's Department of School Education and Literacy will receive Rs 54,873.66 crore for the upcoming financial year as against Rs 59,845 crore last year.

The funds for the Kendriya Vidyalayas saw an increase as the KVs have been issued Rs 6,800 crore for the upcoming financial year as compared to Rs 5,516 crore last year.

The budget allocation to Navodaya Vidyalayas has been increased by Rs 500 crore. Last year, Rs 3,300 crore were allocated to Navodaya Vidyalayas while for this year, the funds have been raised to Rs 3,800 crore.

The mid-day meal scheme saw an increase of Rs 500 crore as the total allocation has been raised to Rs 11,500 crore from Rs 11,000 last year.

(With Inputs From PTI)

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