K'taka to constitute Knowledge Commission

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Bangalore, July 17 (UNI) The Karnataka Government has decided to set up a 'Knowledge and Higher Education Commission' to improve the standard of higher education in the State.

Presenting the revised budget for 2008-09 in the State Assembly today, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa announced the setting up of the Commission, while allocating Rs 2,199 crore for Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, up by Rs 601 crore from the previous corresponding period.

He announced the setting up of two new agriculture universities at Raichur and Bagalkot and made a provision of Rs five crore for the purpose. A sum of Rs 100 crore has been set apart to upgrade as many as 37 ITIs in the State and another Rs 17 crore to start new ITIs in nine taluks.

Mr Yeddyurappa announced an interest subsidy to those who avail education loan for higher education at the rate of six per cent per annum and Rs 140 crore towards providing bicycles to all children studying in eighth standard in the Government and aided schools.

The Chief Minister also announced to set up IT and BT parks in Hubli-Dharwad, Belgaum, Gulbarga, Shimoga, Davanagere and Mangalore by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board with private participation. An allocation of Rs five crore has been made to promote BPO services in rural areas to create IT-based employment opportunities.

He announced that the beneficiaries of the Social Security Pension and National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme will receive payments through smart cards, ensuring convenient and cost-effectiveness.

UNI MV GD AK BD1820

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