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Centre raises concern about 5 states not signing PM SHRI School MoU

March 1, 2024

The Center has raised significant concerns over five states forgoing the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Ministry of Education for PM SHRI schools, with Punjab abstaining from implementation despite continuing to receive funds under the Samagra Shiksha scheme, sources reported on Thursday.

As of now, Odisha, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Delhi have not entered into MoUs with the Union Ministry of Education, while 30 other states and union territories have done so. The PM SHRI school initiative aims to upgrade 14,500 schools, benefiting approximately 1.8 million students and transforming these institutions into model institutes aligned with the National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020.

In the initial phase, the government has selected 6,448 schools from 28 states and union territories for the upgrade. Despite receiving funds under the Samagra Shiksha Scheme, the refusal of these five states and union territories to sign MoUs for PM SHRI schools has raised concerns about politicization and a reluctance to align with the broader educational vision.

The source mentioned, “Punjab, after initially signing the MoU, stopped the implementation of PM SHRI,” emphasizing a clear pattern of political considerations by the states and union territories. When asked about the possibility of halting funding under the Samagra Shiksha scheme for these regions, the source indicated that “nothing can be ruled out.”

The Samagra Shiksha Scheme stands as the largest Central government initiative for universalizing school education, providing support for the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, and strengthening State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and other agencies for teacher training. In the fiscal year 2022-23, the Center allocated Rs 37,453 crore out of the Rs 68,804 crore budgeted for school education.

Also read: Rs 630 Crore was released as first installment under PM SHRI: MoS Education

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