Full Planning Commission to meet on Sep 13

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New Delhi, Sept 13: A meeting of the Full Planning Commission will be held here today to lay out appropriate agenda for education.

The meeting has been called to give focused attention to education in the Eleventh Plan. The meet will also consider setting up of more IITs, IIMs and central universities.

The meeting, to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will also consider transformation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) into a National Mission for Quality Elementary Education with specific monitor able targets.

The Commission has worked out an allocation of Rs 2,69,673 crore for the Eleventh Plan, of which new initiatives will involve an expenditure of Rs 84,743 crore.

The initiatives related to higher education, skill development through Polytechnics, education mission through ICT, technical education, language development and scholarships and book promotion.

The recommendations made by the National Knowledge Commission, headed by Sam Pitroda, have already been accepted by the panel.

The proposals include increased corporate participation in the education sector and hiking higher education fees to at least 20 per cent of the operating cost from the present five per cent.

Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who has said that the government would be open to explore alternative ways of strengthening the country's universities, added that “there should be more exchange programmes of students and faculties between universities of the US and India."

The Commission with the help of five expert bodies also proposed to constitute 14 world class universities. It also supports private participation in setting up these components of the university.

Besides, today"s meeting is likely to discuss issues such as one-time debt waiver scheme for farmers, easing supply gaps, higher farm credit, a comprehensive crop insurance scheme and crop diversification.

The meeting will also be attended by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.


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