Rs. 18,923 crore set aside for education in State Budget

The education sector got the lion’s share in the Budget with the highest allocation among the sectors — Rs. 18,923 crore. This is even higher than the allocation made for the sector in the last Budget presented by the former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, which was Rs. Rs. 18,666 crore.

With an outlay of Rs. 3,243 crore for higher education, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s budget has made proposals for the establishment of over 30 new government colleges in the State.

New colleges

Of the new colleges, four new medical colleges are proposed to be set up in Karwar, Kodagu, Koppal and Chamarajnagar from next year, which will all be under the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS). A new Government College of Pharmacy will be set up at Gulbarga, while an Indian Institute of Public Health is also being planned to be established in Bangalore.

As for general education, the Budget has made special mention of the need to enhance enrolment of women in higher education, for which 15 new government colleges for women are being set up in 15 districts which do not have women’s colleges. In addition, 15 new colleges are also being planned in “educationally backward blocks.”

A postgraduate centre of Karnatak University, Dharwad, will be established in Gadag, and an ‘extension’ centre of the Karnataka State Women’s University (KSWU), Bijapur, is being established in Mandya at a cost of Rs. 30 crore.

A one-time grant of Rs. 2 crore for each of the 25 government colleges to equip themselves with the necessary infrastructure to make them eligible for getting academic autonomy by the University Grants Commission has been ear-marked.

Also, a one-time development grant of Rs. 5 crore each will be provided to the Rani Chennamma University, Belgaum; KSWU, Bijapur; and Davangere University.

Incentives

The Budget has also listed incentives to colleges and students. While colleges which have a pass percentage of 10 more than the university average would be rewarded with better infrastructure, teachers would also be rewarded.

Scholarships are in the offing for students whose parents are affected with HIV or leprosy. Students, whose parental income is below Rs. 2.5 lakh and have availed bank loans, will now be covered under the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Scholarship Scheme’. A scheme is also being formulated to bear the education expenditure of children of flood or drought affected agricultural labourers and farmers.

Other announcements

As much as Rs. 5 crore is being set aside for the development of new seed varieties and improved technologies in agricultural universities, and Rs. 73 crore has been set aside for development of infrastructure in veterinary colleges at Shimoga, Hassan, Bidar and the dairy college in Gulbarga.

The government is also collaborating with the World Economic Forum under the Open Source Leaders programme to train 10,000 students from universities and colleges.

A Higher Education Academy is also being set up in Dharwad on the lines of the IAS and IPS Academies to impart training to newly recruited teachers.