Shimla, Oct 28 (UNI) The hill states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and north eastern states have been accorded special status by the Planning Commission keeping in view their adverse geographical position, Planning Commission member Bhalchandra Mungekar said.
''In view of the difficult terrain in the hill states, the Central Government is resorting to resource transfer to these states according to the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula,'' he told UNI yesterday.
Prof Mungekar, who is also the Governing Body Chairman of the Indian Institute of Advance Studies (IIAS), lauded Himachal Pradesh for gradually coming up on its own in a big way.
''The neighbouring states had already started taking note of the progress and development of the state,'' he said.
Prof Mungekar said Himachal Pradesh must improve tourism infrastructure to attract high-end tourists and increase its income, adding that 68 lakh tourists visited the state last year which was more than its total population.
Observing that the standard of education in the state was quite worrying, he said he would visit the state in soon and take up the issue with the Himachal government.
Prof Mungekar also expressed concern over the standard of education in the government schools throughout the country inspite of the Centre spending Rs 11,000 crore under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and another Rs 4,000 crore under the mid-day meal scheme.
He was reacting to a report by Pratham, a Non Government Organisation (NGO), that had highlighted the dismal standards of education in government schools of the country.
UNI AS JN SAM HS1729