Vikash Sharma

The Odisha government on Friday announced a slew of new initiatives in the annual budget for the financial year 2023-24 presented in the State Assembly by Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari.

Pujari informed that the State government has proposed a new scheme- ‘Mukhya Mantri Medhabi Chhatrabruti Yojana’ to be implemented for the meritorious students in the State. Around 10,000 eligible undergraduate (UG) students will get an amount of Rs 10,000 per annum under the scheme.

Similarly, 5000 eligible PG students will get scholarship of Rs 15,000 per annum. Around 10,000 eligible Technical and Professional students will get a scholarship of Rs 20,000 per annum under the new scheme.

Also Read: Odisha Budget 2023-24: Check full list for new initiatives

From this year, 200 meritorious students selected through entrance exam will be provided free coaching for Civil Services Examination along with free lodging and boarding facilities, announced the state government.

Key Highlights:

Education Sector Odisha University of Technology and Research (formerly CET) will be developed into a University of excellence in the course of next five years with a total outlay of Rs 1,500 crore.

VSSUT, Burla will have a facelift with facilities like smart classrooms, advanced laboratories and computer centres with a spending of Rs 2,000 crore in the course of next five years.

Also Read: Odisha budget 2023-24: Major highlights and allocations for important sectors

A sum of Rs 241 crore proposed for development of Technical Universities, Engineering Colleges, Polytechnics and ITIs.

1 lakh youth would be trained in future technologies like Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality-Virtual Reality, Data Science, 3D printing etc.

An amount of Rs.100 crore has been earmarked for this new scheme NUA Odisha (Nutana Unnata Abhilasha) to be utilized in a time bound manner.

Other Major Highlights

High School Transformation: In the first phase, 1075 High Schools across the State have been transformed with project cost of Rs 620 crore and 3461 High Schools in the 2nd phase with project cost of Rs 1699 crore. Under the third phase of 5T High School Transformation Programme, 2336 High Schools are being taken up with a total project cost of Rs 1092 crore.

Mukhyamantri Shikya Puraskar: An amount of Rs 139 crore is proposed for the Mukhya Mantri Shikhya Puraskar. Higher Education Sector

An outlay of Rs 3173 crore proposed for Higher Education Department. Rs 163 crore for infrastructure development of higher education institutions, Rs 170 crore under Mo College Abhiyan, Rs 50 crore for distribution of laptops under Biju Yuva Sashaktikarana Yojana, Rs 20 crore is proposed for Odia University at Satyabadi, Puri which will be made operational in December 2023.

Rs 228 crore has been allocated for infrastructure development of Government Universities and Colleges under the programme Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence and Equity (OHEPEE) with financial assistance from the World Bank.

Odisha government has launched Mukhya Mantri Shikhya Puraskar to encourage healthy competition and to recognize excellence in the transformed schools and other schools of the state. 4,500 students will be felicitated with academic award. Leadership award will be given to 17,118 students and scholarships to a total of 2000 meritorious students based on 10th board result and economic criteria.

Gangadhar Meher Shiksa Manakbrudhi Yojana: The scheme is implemented to check the dropout rate and encourage the beneficiaries to complete Secondary education which includes supply of Free Bi-Cycle to all Students studying in Class-IX of Government, Government Aided, Block Grant High Schools, Sanskrit Tols and Madrasa. It is proposed to increase the present rate of Rs.2600 to Rs.3500 during the financial year 2023-24.

For this, an amount of Rs.155 crore has been proposed for the Year 2023-24.

Provision of school uniforms and accessories enhanced from Rs.600 to Rs.1000 during 2023-24. Uniforms (including accessories) will be provided to all students studying in Class-IX & X of Govt. and Government Aided Schools during 2023-2024.

Total budget allocation of Rs.22,528 crore for the School and Mass education department.

Under Mukhyamantri Medhabi Chatra Protsahan Yojana, an outlay of Rs 811 crore has been proposed for disbursement of scholarship to more than 23 lakh students of which 60% are girls. The residential facilities and scholarship schemes cover students in pre and post-matric grades.

Coding, tinkering, ICT labs are being taken up in all 422 High schools in saturation mode. Exclusive smart learning centers in all High Schools will be dedicated by December 2023.