GoI panel to look into implementation of education schemes in JK

There Are Reports Of Mismanagement In SSA And Other Schemes: Sibal


Pulwama, Oct 23: Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal Tuesday said he has set up a committee to look into the problems faced in implementation of Government of India-funded Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and other educational schemes in Jammu and Kashmir.
“I have set up a committee on October 12 (this month) to look into the problems,” Sibal told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
He said there were reports of mismanagement in execution of some schemes including the SSA in the State. “Yes, there are reports (about irregularities and misuse of funds). The committee will look into all aspects,” he said.
The Minister said he knew that school buildings were not completed under the SSA and other schemes in J&K.
The construction works were either left half way or they were not taken up at all. “And then suddenly the cost goes up,” Sibal said.
The SSA aims at universalizing education at elementary level. The State’s tardy progress in SSA came under sharp criticism at the Public Accounts Board meeting for Jammu and Kashmir for 2011-12, held in New Delhi in May this year.
The minutes of PAB meeting, which were reported in depth by Greater Kashmir, revealed that while cumulative completion rate was only 43 percent, the expenditure booked was 96 percent. It brought to fore that only 5951 primary school buildings were constructed in the State under the program against the target of 10178.
Similarly, out of 1119 upper primary school buildings, only 723 were completed and only 6239 additional classrooms were constructed against the target of 15354.
Besides, 6985 schools are building-less (without own buildings) in the State.
Greater Kashmir also reported that at least Rs 323 crore were unspent under SSA, while Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 54 crore remained unutilized under National Program for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL) and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyala (KGBV) respectively.
The Minister said a separate inquiry was going on in the implementation of various other schemes meant for universalizing education at primary and secondary level in the State.
Last June, Sibal had told reporters here that Government of India was probing into reports of irregularities in the schemes including Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan (RMSA). The RMSA aims at strengthening education system at secondary level.
“It is going on. We are at it,” Sibal told reporters today about the outcome of the inquiry.
The minister hinted at lack of efforts on part of the State Government to create awareness about Government of India-funded schemes in education sector.
“May be we are not able to reach to you but schemes are being implemented everywhere,” he said.
He said Government of India has set up many schemes for students from J&K. “Special attention is being paid towards the State. There is Prime Minister’s scholarship program for the State,” Sibal said.
The program was recommended by a panel led by Dr C Rangarajan which was mandated to look into the issue of rising unemployment in the State. It is expected to benefit at least 25000 students from J&K during 5 years, 5000 students each year.
“The program did not do well last year but scores of application have been received under it during this year,” Sibal said.
He said his ministry has approved 11 “Model” Degree Colleges for JK and location for setting up eight of the colleges have been finalized.
He said the National Institute of Technology here has been granted permission to set up two more campuses.
“Many things are happening for J&K. This is our home and we are concerned for it,” he said.
Earlier, addressing a gathering, Sibal laid stress on the role of private sector in education.
He said private institutes should be given due freedom with responsibility to work.
“Some issues have been brought into my notice by the private players in the education sector of Kashmir and I ensure them that I will help them both as a minister and as an individual,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST

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