National Means cum Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMS)

It was launched in June, 2008 with a provision to award one lakh scholarships every year to selected candidates @ Rs. 6,000 per annum (i.e. Rs.500/- per month) for study in Classes IX � XII. The total number of selected candidates in 2009-10 was 24,521 in 27 States/UTs and it was reported that eight States/UTs did not send their proposals. Presently over 75, 000 students are availing scholarship under this scheme. This is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme but funding is entirely provided by the Central Government. MHRD has made state-wise allocation on the basis of two-third weightage to enrolment in classes VII and VIII and one-third weightage to child population of the relevant age group.

National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education aims at promoting enrolment of girls from the weaker sections, to ensure their retention at least till Class X, and preferably Class XII, reducing their drop out at secondary and higher secondary stages, improving gender parity and empowering girls. The scheme is applicable for girls belonging to SC, ST, who pass Class VIII examination and to girls who pass from Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) and join Class IX in Government, Government aided and local body schools. A sum of Rs. 3, 000 is deposited as a Fixed Deposit Certificate in the name of the eligible girl and the matured amount can be withdrawn by the girl subject to her attainment of 18 years of age and passing Class X and remaining unmarried.

Under the Girls Hostel Scheme, 287 proposals have been recommended by MHRD to set up hostels either in KGBV, Model schools or in Government Secondary/ Senior Secondary Schools in five States.

The Scheme of Integrated Education for the Disabled Children (IEDC) launched in 1974 continued up to 2008-09 and during 2007-08 and 2008-09, 6.7 lakh children were assisted. The scheme has been revised as Inclusive Education for the Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) and is operational from 2009-10. e issues of recruitment of special teachers, orientation of teachers and development of pre-service training curriculum and involvement of NGOs have to be addressed.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Schools Scheme aims at imparting computer literacy through grants to States and Union Territories. Up to 2008-09, 53,250 schools have been covered. The fund sharing arrangement between the Centre and the States is 75:25; while for North- East States, the ratio is 90:10. Under the scheme, 31 KVs and 33 NVs have been assisted for converting them into SMART schools. The scheme is revised to cover all Government and Government aided secondary and higher secondary schools, in-service teachers� training, computer teachers, broad band connectivity and development of e-content. Convergence with the Ministries of Power, IT and New and Renewable Energy is needed.

The Scheme of Financial Assistance for Appointment of Language Teachers has three components: (a) appointment and training of Hindi teachers in non-Hindi speaking States and Union Territories (b) Appointment of Urdu teachers and grant of honorarium for teaching Urdu in States and Union Territories and (c) appointment of teachers of Modern Indian language. The scheme has been revised in 2008-09, giving flexibility for appointment of Urdu teachers in any locality where more than 25 per cent are from Urdu speaking group, 100 per cent central assistance for salary of Hindi/ Urdu teachers and training of Urdu teachers by three Central Universities (Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University and Maulana Azad National Urdu University).

Vocationalisation of Secondary Education provides for diversification of educational opportunities for enhancing individual employability and reducing mismatch between demand and supply of skilled manpower. The scheme, as revised in 1992-93, has been in operation since then with an enrolment of over 10 lakh students in 9619 schools and since inception total central assistance is Rs.765 crore. e Eleventh Plan envisaged expansion of vocational education coverage to 20,000 schools with an intake capacity of 25 lakh by 2011-12.

Vocational education faces many problems - lack of social recognition, inflexible curriculum and duration, lack of need-based courses and trained teachers, poor vertical mobility and linkage with industry and absence of national competency and accreditation system. e scheme which is being restructured on the recommendations of the Task Force on Skill Development (2006) and will now aim at preparing educated, employable and competitive human resource for various sectors of the economy and the global market, enhancing the employability of youth through competency based modular vocational courses, providing multi-entry and exit learning opportunities and vertical mobility and inter changeability in qualifications.

The allocation for Secondary Education in the first four years of the Eleventh Plan is Rs. 17,041.99 crore. The expenditure during the first three years of the Eleventh Plan is likely to be Rs. 7,467 crore, i.e. about 14 per cent of the total Eleventh Plan allocation of Rs 53,550 crore, which is very low. This is inter alia due to the delayed launch of new CSS and time taken by States to prepare project proposals.

Written by princy

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