March 9, 2021 3:05:10 am
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, while presenting the budget for 2021-22 Monday, announced three projects in name of Dr BR Ambedkar – a museum and a management institute in Doaba’s Kapurthala and a university chair at Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar.
“Dr BR Ambedkar Institute of Management is proposed to be set up at IKGPTU, Kapurthala with an objective of achieving international-level quality in the field of management education. Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Amritsar has been requested to become the mentor institute for this purpose. Also, Dr BR Ambedkar Museum is proposed to be set up at IKGPTU, Kapurthala, wherein the biography and achievements of Dr BR Ambedkar will be displayed,” said Manpreet.
Meanwhile, in the budget proposed for school education, major thrust has been laid on digital education and converting at least 9,000 more government schools into ‘Smart Schools’ with the provision of tablets, LEDs, projectors etc. Rs 140 crore have been allotted for the purpose.
An outlay of Rs 11,861 crore has been earmarked for school education for 2021-22. Manpreet said that the construction of 6,984 additional classrooms, 292 science laboratories, 304 libraries, 319 art and craft rooms at cost of Rs 604.07 crore have already been undertaken in 2020-21. He said that upgradation of 250 schools from high to senior secondary especially for convenience of girls will be undertaken this year under the ‘new school upgradation policy’. A budget of Rs 50 crore has been proposed for buying computers for government primary schools, he said.
He said that during the Covid-19 lockdown, education department undertook special enrollment drive ‘each one, bring one’ to motivate parents for admitting children in government schools. He claimed that the teacher student ratio in government schools is 1:21 which is well within the norms under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory education. He said that English as medium of instruction as an option has been introduced in 14,957 government schools (primary, middle, high and senior secondary) covering 3.71 lakh students.
For the 2021-22 budget, an allocation of Rs 350 crore has been made for mid day meal scheme. Rs 100 crore have been allocated each for digital education and smart phones distribution to class-12 students. A new scheme ‘career and guidance counselling’ has been announced for students of 3,636 government high and senior secondary schools. Manpreet said ‘fitness parks’ will be developed in all government schools for at least two games such basketball, kabaddi, kho kho etc.
Rs 21 crore have been allocated for safety and hygiene of girls and providing them sanitary napkins. Manpreet said that services 14,064 contractual teachers have been regularized in four years. Rs 140 have been proposed for converting at least 9,490 more government schools into ‘Smart Schools’. He said that 9,604 government schools have already been converted into Smart Schools with ‘School Development Plan’ where government contributes 40 per cent funds and remaining 60 per cent is contributed by the community. He said that contribution of Rs 159 crore was received from the community in the current year who helped in converting government schools into smart schools.
Higher & technical education
A budgetary allocation of Rs 511 crore for technical education, Rs 1,064 crore for grants to universities and Rs 100 crore for completing ongoing construction/renovation works in government colleges has been made for 2021-11.
Construction of a new education college and a new college for girls in Muslim majority town Malerkotla has been proposed. Improvement of infrastructure in six historical government colleges including special grant of Rs 7 crore for Naab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia College, Kapurthala has been proposed. Rs 5 crore have been allocated for setting up a centre on Guru Granth Sahib at GNDU Amritsar. Allocation of Rs 9 crore has been made for setting up academic and research chairs in names of – Maharana Partap chair, Maharaja Agarsain chair, Shaheed Udham Singh chair and Gurdial Singh chair at Punjabi University, Patiala and Dr BR Ambedkar chair, Satuguru Ram Singh chair , Sant Baba Prem Singh Murale Wala chair and Jallianwala Bgh chair at GNDU Amritsar.
To promote Punjabi language, the finance minister announced the doubling of award amounts for Punjabi Sahit Ratan award and Shiromani award from Rs 10 lakh to 20 and Rs 5 lakh to 10 lakh respectively. He also announced to enhance the monthly pension given to elderly needy writers of Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu from Rs 5,000 to 1,5000.
Allocation of 15 crore has been made for upgradation of Beant College of Engineering and Technology, Gurdaspur and Shaheed Bhagat Singh State Technical campus, Ferozepur.
Rs 8.27 crore have also been allocated for upgradation of Industrial Training Institute (ITI) Ludhiana and turning it into model ITI and Rs 10 crore for upgradation of existing ITIs.
A total allocation of Rs 1,064 crore has been made for grants to universities such as Panjab University, Chandigarh; GNDU Amritsar, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana etc. Special grant to Punjabi University, Patiala of Rs 90 crore has been announced ‘to square up debt liability’.
It has also been proposed to setup Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Institute of Handicraft at GNDU regional research centre, Sathiala, Baba Bakala and Sri Guru Teg Bahadur School of textile and fashion technology, GNDU.
‘With the purpose of training a large number of youths to enhance their employability and to provide various avenues of social and economic upliftment to the rural region, we propose to set up Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Institute of Handicraft at GNDU Regional Centre, Sathiala, Baba Bakala. The vision of the institute is to invigorate the craft sector by bringing back to life the languishing crafts of Punjab and to become the centre of excellence in Crafts & Design. Similarly, it is proposed to set up a focused and integrated institute of Textile Technology i.e. Sri Guru Teg Bahadur School of Textile and Fashion Technology, GNDU. The school shall have three divisions of textile manufacturing, textile processing technology and textile apparel and fashion designing,” said Manpreet.
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