Starting next academic year, the Karnataka government has decided to make education free of cost for all girl students in the state. The Siddaramaiah government in moving to fund the education of all girls from Class 1 to graduation in all public and aided private institutions except for professional courses.
While the scheme is open for all girl students in the state, the government hopes that only students from economically weaker sections will opt for the scheme. The funds allocated for the scheme is, however, merely Rs 110 crore. The government hopes that only students from families that have an annual income of less than Rs 10 lakh opt for the scheme.
18 lakh girl students, the government believes, will benefit from the scheme to make education free for till graduation. Punjab offers free education to girl students till Ph.D. while Telangana extends the scheme from kindergarten to post graduation. In an election year, the Karnataka government has already introduced a slew of welfare schemes. The free education for girls in only the latest addition to the list. Earlier schemes have been designed to specifically appeal to Dalit students, backward classes welfare and now women empowerment and girl child education.
Basavraj Rayareddy, the minister for Higher Education in the state said that the government would reimburse all fees except examination fees of girl students of Class 1 to graduation level, irrespective of their family's annual income. The scheme will apply to all private aided and government schools and colleges.
The students will have to pay the fees first and the same would be reimbursed by the government. The entire tuition fee will be reimbursed, according to the minister.