Rs.10 crore for science and technology park in capital
The higher education sector has cornered Rs.722.78 crore more in the State budget for 2011-12 over the previous one. The four arts and science universities in the State would get Rs.15 crore each and would share a Plan outlay of Rs.144.75 crore. The Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, would get Rs.10 crore and the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Rs.12 crore. The Plan aid to Kerala Agricultural University would be Rs.45 crore.
The inter-university centre for study and research in Malayalam, to be established in the University of Kerala, had been given a seed money of Rs.10 crore. While the Budget allocates Rs.3 crore for the K.N. Raj Centre for Public Finance and Planning to be set up in the Mahatma Gandhi University, Rs.5 crore had been set apart as matching grant for the proposed Mundassery Centre for Mass Communication to be set up at CUSAT.
A science and technology research park would be set up adjacent to the College of Engineering Thiruvananthapuram and Rs.10 crore had been allocated for this. A transport research centre with a test track facility will be set up inside the college and Rs.5 crore had bees set apart for this. The Veterinary University, Fisheries University and Medical University would be given Rs.30 crore.
The Budget had set apart Rs.6 crore for the National University of Advanced Legal Studies and for the four law colleges. While the Kerala Council for Historical Research had been given Rs.3 crore, the 10 inter-university centres would get Rs.2 crore and the Kerala State Higher Education Council, Rs.5 crore.
The Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment will get Rs.24 crore while the Centre for Earth Science Studies, the Centre for Water Resources Management, Kerala Forest Research Institute, National Transportation Planning and Research Centre, Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute, and the Kerala Sanitation Mission will share Rs.22 crore.
The working of science and technology institutions would be assessed by an expert committee. A pension scheme would be implemented for employees in such institutions; independent pension funds would be established for this.
One new course would be started in 50 government/aided colleges in 2011-12. “This is to recapture the glory of arts and science colleges in these times of the tyranny of self-financing colleges. The Budget is a recognition to all the initiatives launched by the Department of Education, particularly in the higher education sector,” Education Minister M.A. Baby told The Hindu.
The Finance Minister allocated Rs.258 crore for the general education sector but said 42 per cent of this money would go as the State's share for Central programmes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), and for the implementation of the Right to Education Act. This is in addition to money spent by local bodies for the SSA. “It reflects the sheer absurdity of planning in New Delhi for improving school education in a State like Kerala,” the Budget speech read.
Kerala would get close to Rs.839 crore for Centrally sponsored schemes. If the State had been allowed to spend this as per its priorities, the achievements in the education sector would have been significant, Dr. Isaac said. The higher secondary and vocational higher secondary sectors had been allocated Rs.45 crore. Of this, Rs.19 crore would be for laboratories and libraries and Rs.5 crore for scholarships. The Kerala State Institute of Design would get Rs.5 crore. The Budget had set apart Rs.42.8 crore for the modernisation of the industrial training institutes (ITIs) in the State. New ITIs would be set up at Pallippad, Perinjanam, Vadakkancherry, Nilakkamukku, Thukkupalam, Perinthalmanna, Kuttanad, Cherukunnu, Chanthamangalam and Peerumedu.