1,031 elementary schools to be upgraded

CHENNAI, AUG. 1. Upgrading of 1,031 elementary schools middle schools and 10,000 anganwadis nursery schools, setting up of 363 education guarantee scheme centres in un-served habitations and conducting of 6,534 bridge courses and 170 residential camps for 2.79 lakh `out-of-school' children are among the important activities proposed to be implemented by the School Education department during 2004-2005 at an outlay of Rs.433.01 crores.

This was announced by the Minister for Education and Backward Classes, C.Ve. Shanmugam, in the Assembly on Saturday.

He said the State Institute of English would offer a `remedial course' for first year undergraduate students weak in English, during this year. The Government had allocated Rs.67.71 lakhs to the Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology to implement various schemes. A grant of Rs. 25 lakhs was made to the Council in the Higher Education department.

Hockey tournament

The policy note on demand for grants to the Department of Youth Welfare and Sports Development said the International Hockey Federation and the Tamil Nadu Hockey Association were planning to host an international tournament — the Champions Trophy 2005 — with the assistance of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu. Top international teams would take part.

In the dairy development sector, it had been proposed to get Rs. 25-crore assistance from the National Dairy Development Board for strengthening infrastructure in the Tiruchi, Madurai, Vellore and Salem district cooperative milk producers' unions to meet procurement of around 25 lakh litres of milk a day.

Afforestation project

In the Forest and Environment sector, the Government had proposed to cover 28,653 hectares, spread over 110 villages, at an outlay of Rs.50 crores under the Tamil Nadu Afforestation Project. The outlay for the wildlife scheme would be Rs. 6.11 crores.

An outlay of Rs. 4 crores had been made for integrated forest protection, Rs. 2.03 crores for forest research, Rs. 3.50 crores for tank foreshore plantations and Rs. 2 crores for the conservation and sustainable use of the Gulf of Mannar biosphere.

As yoga was the best practice to cure most of the diseases, the proposals for its inclusion in the Employees' State Insurance Hospitals at Ayanavaram in Chennai and Coimbatore are under active consideration, according to the policy note on Labour, Factories, Employment and Training.

Tamil development

During this year, schemes such as computerisation of the Directorate of Tamil Development, conducting Tamil language course as an optional subject, formation of library in the Directorate, creating software in Tamil, digital dictionary, production of spell-checker and preparation of grammar checker would be implemented by the Tamil Development-Culture department at a total cost of Rs. 243.63 lakhs.

Improving facilities at the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai, and College of Architecture and Sculpture, Mahabalipuram; financial assistance to 500 indigent artists and documentation of rare fine arts were among the new schemes planned by the Tamil Development-Culture department this year.

Tourism projects

Action had been taken to install nine-foot tall statues of the former President, S. Radhakrishnan, and Periyar E.V. Ramasamy, at the Parliament House. Additional boathouse at Udhagamandalam, passenger ropeways at Udhagamandalam, Kodaikanal, Kanyakumari and Yercaud, were among the steps proposed by the Tourism department.

A total of Rs.1.26 crores was earmarked for implementing new schemes such as provision of computers to schools, cooking gas connections in hostels and construction of compound walls to student hostels under the Backward Classes and Most Backward Classes department.

Entrepreneurial development training would be imparted to 1,000 Muslim youths and they would be provided with a loan of Rs. 25,000 for starting self-employment ventures.

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