The government of Tamil Nadu allocated a whooping Rs 34,181 crore to the School Education department for the year 2020-21. This is the highest allocation for any single department in the state’s budget for the year 2020-21.
Tamil Nadu’s Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam presented the budget for the year 2020-21 in the Legislative Assembly on Friday. His speech, which is also the last full budget by the AIADMK government before the state goes for polls, lasted for over three hours.
The Tamil Nadu department of school education has been allocated Rs 34,181 crore, which is 18% higher than the amount allocated by the government in 2019-20. Among the major announcements made under the grants given to the school education department, is the amount of Rs 520.13 crore to set up hi-tech laboratories in government higher secondary schools across the state.
Other aspects of budget announcements regarding school education in Budget 2020 are as follows.
- Rs 1018.39 crore has been allocated towards welfare schemes being implemented by the state government in schools like distribution of free books, shoes, school bags etc to the students. In 2019-20, the allocation towards welfare schemes was Rs 1656.90 crore.
- Government of Tamil Nadu’s flagship scheme of distributing free laptops to school students received an allocation of Rs 996.46 crore, which is less than the previous year’s amount of Rs 1362.27 crore.
- Similarly, the state government has granted Rs 258.82 crore towards construction of toilets, classrooms and other infrastructure requirements in schools with the assistance of NABARD.
- Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) scheme has been allocated Rs 3202.14 crore this year as against Rs 2791.32 crore allocated in 2019-20.
- The state has also allocated Rs 304.14 crore towards Right To Education (RTE) scheme for 2020-21 as against Rs 248.76 crore granted in 2019-20.
The department of higher education also received a higher allocation of funds in the budget presented by the Deputy Chief Minister on Friday. According to the budget speech, Rs 5052.84 crore has been allocated to the department for the year 2020-21. Some of the major announcements made related to higher education in the state are:
- The government has granted Rs 10 crore to Coimbatore Government Arts college to amp its infrastructure up as it completes 75 years of its existence. The government has also promised to contribute an amount equal to whatever the college’s alumni contribute towards its Platinum jubilee anniversary.
- The government has reduced the block grants provided to state universities from Rs 538.10 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 91.50 crore in 2020-21. The budget also mentioned that the government will contribute Rs 225 crore to Annamalai University to tide over its financial crisis and Rs 11.72 crore to University of Madras’s pension fund.
- The amount allocated to the First Generation Graduates scheme for the year 2020-21 is Rs 506.04 crore as against Rs 460.25 crore allocated last year.
- The state government also announced that the Madras School of Economics (MSE) will be granted the status of ‘Institute of Special Importance’ by it and it will allow the college to grant degrees and diplomas. MSE currently offers Bachelors and Masters programmes in collaboration with the Central University of Tamil Nadu and University of Madras.