New Delhi, Jul 6 : Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee while presenting the General Budget in Parliament today announced that the Government is committed to the universalisation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme in the country.
He said that, by March 2012, all services under ICDS would be extended with quality to every child under the age of six.
Mukherjee said that the aim of the National Mission for Female Literacy would be to reduce by half, the current level of female illiteracy, in three years. This mission will focus on minorities, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other marginalized groups.
Full Budget Speech 2009-10
He announced that in order to enable students from economically weaker sections to access higher education, it is proposed to provide them full interest subsidy during the period of moratorium. It will cover loans of students from scheduled banks to pursue any of the approved courses of study in technical and professional streams from recognized institutions in India, he said.
"It is estimated that over 5 lakh students would avail of this benefit," he added. He said that the Women's Self Help Groups (SHG) movement is bringing about a profound transformation in rural areas, and today over 22 lakh such groups are linked with banks.