New Delhi, May 22 (UNI) The United Progressive Alliance Government(UPA), which completed three years today, counts ''decommunalisation'' of schools and sharp increase in allocation for education among its major successes during the period.
In a report issued on the occasion, it said the National Framework for School Education has been revised and ''the trend of communalisation of education has been arrested.'' All autonomous bodies under the Ministry of Human Resource Development(HRD) were asked to review all those activities that have given rise to the perception of communal slant being given to curricular and extra curricular activities and take suitable corrective measures, it said.
It said the Constitution had been amended to facilitate greater access to education for students belonging to SCs and STs and the socially and educationally backward classes. The amendment enables laws to be made for reservation of students belonging to these categories in matters of admission to educational institutions and regulation of fees.
The UPA Government said the total allocation for education had risen to Rs 32,352 crore in 2007-08, an increase by 34 per cent over that of the previous year, and additional education cess of one per cent on major central taxes has been introduced in 2007-08 for funding secondary and higher education.
The Government has also prepared a Model Right to Education Bill for adoption by states to give effect to fundamental right to education, and the Centre was actively pursuing the matter with the states, the UPA report said.
In a major incentive to make poor parents send their children to school, the Centre was now providing asssistance to states to make schools provide cooked meals.
It has also taken a number of steps to make higher and technical education affordable. The amount of outstanding educational loans disbusrsed by public sector banks increased from Rs 4,550 crore in 2003-04 to Rs 10,005 crore in 2005-06. The number of loans disbursed rose from 3.19 lakh in 2003-04 to 6.84 lakh in 2005-06.
The report also notes the recommendations of the Oversight Committee chaired by Mr Veerappa Moily and says that when implemenated it will result in increase in capacities, students intake and public expenditure in higher education.