The K.A.P. Viswanatham Government Medical College hospital in the city would be upgraded at an investment of Rs.50 crore soon, said K.N.Nehru, Transport Minister, here on Thursday.

Speaking at the distribution of free bicycles by the Department of School Education at the St.John's Vestry Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Mr. Nehru said a government announcement on the issue was expected soon.

Mr. Nehru said a slew of government schemes were available to assist students' right from primary school to securing employment and appealed to students to utilise them well. Apart from free bicycles, bus passes and textbooks, the government has established colleges in rural areas to provide students with an opportunity to pursue higher education. The IT Park to be inaugurated at the end of the month would also provide job opportunities for graduates, he added.

The Minister along with State Forest Minister, N.Selvaraj inaugurated a two-day district level science exhibition at the school campus. Around 24, 978 school students from the district received free bicycles. Among the beneficiaries were 14, 610 girls and 10, 368 boys.

State Forest Minister, N. Selvaraj said the State government acknowledging the importance of education had substantially increased the allocation for school education in the current year's budget. Collector Mahesan Kasirajan said the various schemes implemented by Department of School Education were meant to ensure access to education for all. He urged students to pursue education with a keen interest.

According to a Department release, more than one lakh school students have benefitted from the free bicycles scheme since 2006 in the district. Under other government welfare schemes, 2415 children of farmers have received educational assistance worth Rs. 33 lakh. While more than eight lakh students have received free textbooks, around two lakh bus passes have been distributed. A total of 111 SSLC toppers have been given free laptops.