Friday, April 30, 2010

Congress-ruled states demand more funds for Right to Education

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh and Bihar may have taken the lead in demanding more central funds for implementing the Right To Education Act, but Congress-ruled states are also joining the race now.

Several Congress-ruled states, including Delhi and Rajasthan, have demanded 90 to 100% funding from the Centre towards the implementation of the new law, said a committee set up by HRD Ministry to suggest ways for revamping the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan scheme in the light of the new Act.

The implementation of the Act would require Rs 1.71 lakh crore in the next five years. The committee's report, which has given the comments of the states on funding pattern, said majority of them have expressed inability to bear the additional funds required to implement the Act.

These states are currently giving 45% share for the SSA scheme which would be the main vehicle for implementation of the RTE Act.

The report quoted Delhi education secretary Rakesh Mohan as saying that the existing fund sharing pattern under SSA needs to be changed to 90-10 between the Centre and the state. The financial liability on account of RTE Act will be high and additional burden should be borne by central government, the report said.

The panel, headed by former education secretary Anil Bordia, submitted its report to the HRD Ministry last week.

Umesh Kumar, Commissioner of Rajasthan Council of Elementary Education, has said that additional funds for RTE will be required from the Centre.

Andhra Pradesh has said that all the additional cost should be borne by the Centre. Similarly Congress-ruled Manipur and Meghalaya, where Congress-led government is in power, have said the additional liability on account of RTE Act should not be passed on to the states.

The other major states which have expressed inability to fund the new law include Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Kerala.

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar would require the major share of the estimated Rs 1.71 lakh crore for implementation of the Act. While 24% of this fund would be required for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar will need 17% followed by West Bengal (8%), Rajasthan (7% and Jharkhand (6%).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Maoists destroyed 109 schools in three years

2010-04-28 22:00:00

The Government on Wednesday said that the Maoists have destroyed over 109 schools in last three years at different parts of the country.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Makan on Wednesday informed Rajya Sabha about the number of schools targeted by Maoists in last three years.

According to Union Home Ministry, Naxals destroyed 25 schools in 2008, 71 in 2009, and 13 schools in 2010 till April 13.

Union Government has announced special dispensation to Naxal affected States.

Home Ministry said the central assistance has been enhanced from 50 per cent to 100 per cent for establishment of Ashram schools for girls and boys in tribal sub-plan areas and hostels for scheduled tribe students.

The Centrally sponsored scheme "Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan" inter alia envisages opening of new secondary schools within a reasonable distance of habitation and improvement of existing secondary schools so as to enhance access to secondary education. (ANI)
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Health, wellness clubs to be started in schools: Sibal

STAFF WRITER 19:28 HRS IST

New Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) Health and wellness clubs will be started in schools to sensitise children on good health and sanitation, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today announced.

Speaking at the launch of the National School Sanitation Initiative, being undertaken jointly by the HRD and Urban Development ministries, CBSE and GTZ, Sibal emphasised on partnership with children in the sanitation drive.

He exhorted the children to take the lead and inspire everybody towards high standards of sanitation.

The main objective of the initiative will be awareness generation and behavioural change among the children who have a significant role in the sanitation programmes.

The programme will touch upon personal hygiene, safe sanitation, clean toilet habits, safe drinking water, disposal of waste water, human excreta disposal, waterless urinals, waste segregation and composting food hygiene, conservation of green spaces.

School Sanitation Programme Launched to Create Awareness About Sanitization and Hygiene

The Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development jointly launched the National School Sanitation Initiative at Vigyan Bhavan here today with the objective of bringing about much needed behavioral change, key to success of any sanitation related initiative. Over 1000 students and teachers from various schools in and around Delhi participated in the event. Minister for Urban Development, Shri Jaipal Reddy, Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of State, Urban Development, Shri Saugata Roy, Minister of State, Human Resource Development, Smt. D.Purandeswari Devi were present on the occasion. Well known cine actor and social activist, Aamir Khan was declared the brand ambassador for the initiative. He was presented a badge and a memento by Shri Kapil Sibal.

Addressing the students on the occasion Shri S.Jaipal Reddy said that there is need to sensitize people about the issue of sanitation. The Government under JNNRUM has initiated a number of projects to upgrade the infrastructure in cities and towns with a special focus on hygienic and affordable sanitation facilities for the urban poor and women.

Shri Kapil Sibal said the health and wellness club will be set up in schools. He expressed hope that initiative will create a massive awareness about the sensitization and hygiene among children and masses.

The highlights of the event was interaction between the students and the Ministers and Mr. Aamir Khan, which witnessed enthusiastic response from the students. A School Sanitation Manual was released by Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal, which shall be part of the CBSE curriculum. A Bio-dynamic waste Segregation Programme was also launched by Shri Jaipal Reddey which seeks to educate the children about use of waste as a resource. A number of colorful posters focusing on the theme of sanitation were released by Shri Saugata Roy

Blueprint ready for Panchayat dept school Board (West Bengal)

At a time when the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (HRD) wants to make school education uniform across the country, the state government is likely to have another education board, this time under the Panchayat department.

The West Bengal Panchayat department has decided to come up with a separate Board and according to the officials an Act for the same will be passed in the state Assembly.

“By having a separate Board we can increase the enrollment and bring in more children between six and 14 years of age group. The infrastructure is already in place for setting up the Board,” said M N Roy, Principal Secretary of the Panchayat department.

Under the Panchayat department, there are about 16,045 Sishu Siksha Kendras (SSK) and 2,000 Madhyamik Siksha Kendras (MSK) in the state, where about 19 lakh children are enrolled so far.

The SSKs run Classes from I to IV, while the MSKs run Classes from V to VII.

Once there is a separate Board in place, the MSKs can teach till Class X and give certificates to the students, qualifying the exams.

“If we want to bring these schools under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), then we cannot retain the teachers. The recruitment in the schools under the WBBSE is done through the School Service Commission,” said Roy.

“These teachers have been teaching in the schools for a very long time. Once we have a separate Board in place, the teachers can be retained,” added Roy.

There are about 50,000 para teachers (Siksha Sahayaks) working in the schools across the state and the announcement of a separate board would mean regularising them.

“The board will be set up for conducting examination, controlling and regulating the schools,” said Anisur Rehman, Minister for Panchayat department.

“The teachers will be retained and their salaries will be increased from time to time and they will get post-retirement benefits also,” he added.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RTE funding pattern should be decided by NDC: panel

The funding pattern between the Centre and the state for implementing Right To Education Act should be referred to the National Development Council headed by the Prime Minister, a Parliamentary panel has suggested.

The Parliamentary committee on HRD in its 221st report has said the states will not be able to meet their share for Right To Education (RTE) Act.

The implementation of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), an on-going scheme that aims at universalisation of elementary education, has been affected due to the inability of states to provide the required funds for the scheme, it said.

“Their (states’) financial constraints with regard to SSA could increase manifold in view of requirement of enormous funds for implementation of the Right To Education Act,” the committee, headed by Oscar Fernandes, said in its report.

The committee said that the implementation of RTE will require Rs 1.71 lakh crore for a period of five years.

“The committee desires that the issue of funding may be considered in the light of the states inability to bear the huge financial burden and the matter be referred to the National Development Council,” the report said.

The issue must be considered during the forthcoming meeting of NDC, a body headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and having chief ministers as its members, the panel suggested.

Several states have asked for revision of SSA funding pattern which is in the ratio of 55 to 45 between the Centre and the states at present.

The HRD Ministry has told the committee that change of funding pattern for combined SSA-RTE requirements has been taken up with Planning Commission and Finance Ministry.

The RTE Act came to force from April 1. Several states, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, have expressed their inability to fund for implementation of the Act.

The committee also felt that the non-availability of teachers is a major challenge for implementation of RTE. It suggested undertaking recruitment of teachers on a mission mode to meet the shortfall of 5.1 lakh teachers.

As the government has started implementing a new Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan scheme in secondary education with a funding patter of 50-50 in the 12th Plan, the committee expressed apprehensions over its implementation.

It said the ministry should look into the issue of funding earnestly and work out a mutually acceptable formula.

The committee was critical about the poor utilisation of funds under the flagship schemes like SSA and Mid-Day Meal.

It expressed concern over the high drop out rate of children at primary and secondary levels.

By Class V, every third child drops out and by Class VIII, every second child leaves the school, the committee found. The committee also expressed concern over quality of education in schools.

World Bank changes to help India as borrower, shareholder

World Bank changes to help India as borrower, shareholder
2010-04-27 09:10:00

Historic decisions taken by the World Bank to increase the financial capacity of the Bank and give more voice to the developing countries would greatly benefit India both as a borrower and a shareholder, Indian officials said.

The decisions taken by the policymaking Development Committee of the World Bank here Sunday would make India one of the important shareholders in the Bank with the 7th largest voting rights ahead of Russia, Canada, Australia, Italy and Saudi Arabia.

India's voting power, which had been declining since the 1970s, has gone up from 2.77 percent to 2.91 percent, reversing a trend for the first time in a generation. China's share too has soared to 4.42 percent from 2.77 percent.

These changes reflect the rapid growth of the Indian economy in the past decade and its rising economic weight in global affairs, officials said.

The overall shift of a little over 3 percent vote share to developing countries bringing their total vote share to 47 percent comes in recognition of the global economic changes.

The voting power of Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey has also increased, while that of some of the major European and other countries that have traditionally dominated international finance like UK, France, Germany, the Nordic and Benelux countries, Japan, Australia and Canada, has gone down.

The Bank has also agreed to review its shareholding five years hence and as India's economy grows further, this should lead to a further improvement in India's relative importance, officials said.

The Development Committee also agreed to raise the capital base of the Bank through a General Capital Increase after a gap of over 30 years. With this the authorised capital of the Bank would go up by $58 billion with a paid in portion at 6 percent amounting to $3.5 billion.

The increase in its capital base, along with the capital that would flow in as a result of the realignment in shareholding, would allow the Bank to lend an additional $86 billion.

As one of the largest borrowers of the Bank, India also would be able to secure additional assistance from the Bank. The enhanced lending capacity would enable India to receive additional assistance to the extent of $7-10 billion in the coming years.

Hailing the decision at Sunday's meeting Indian Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla said that these changes 'are transformative in nature and will reposition the World Bank Group in the international financial architecture.'

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Setting up pvt school is fundamental right of a citizen, says HC

Shibu Thomas, TNN, Apr 19, 2010, 02.24am IST

MUMBAI: To set up a private un-aided school is the fundamental right of every citizen, the Bombay HC has ruled.

Giving a major push to private equity in setting up schools, a division bench of Justice Ajay Khanwilkar and Justice Sambhaji Shinde overturned a 2009 ban on permissions for new unaided Marathi schools.

"The state should encourage private investment in educational institutions on unaided basis, which the private management is entitled to pursue on condition that it would fulfil the prescribed norms and standards and not indulge in profiteering and commercialisation of education," said the bench.

"The induction of private institutions into the field of education would introduce competition, which is healthy for the growth of quality education and not merely paper-compliance-education imparted by the state through schools receiving grant in aid, which have dearth of highly trained and professional staff and are notorious for lack of punctuality and efficiency."

The HC said it would also give children a "fair opportunity to choose between the two institutions". The court was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by around 70 trusts challenging a July 2009 government resolution that refused approval for new private, unaided Marathi schools till the state has finalised a "School Development Plan". The SDP has been in the works since 2000, but has still not seen the light of the day.

The court rejected the government's contention that the ban was a reasonable restriction on fundamental right and termed the new rule "illegal and unconstitutional being discriminatory and arbitrary and also suffers from the vice of non application of mind". The court said the plan was applicable only to government and aided schools and not to private unaided institutions.

Referring to the Supreme Court's verdict on private professional colleges in the TMA Pai case, the court said the right to establish an educational institution was a fundamental right guaranteed to "every citizen" of India. The court held that the restrictions, such as the necessity to take prior permission to start a private unaided school, impinges on the fundamental right to occupation. The state can impose conditions on such schools, but only at the stage of granting/ continuing recognition, said the court.

"The demand for more educational institutions is ever growing. If the state cannot provide educational institutions imparting quality education at every corner of the state—even though constitutionally obliged to do so—on account of financial compulsions or inadequate infrastructural resources, there is no justification in denying the opportunity to the private management to establish an unaided educational institution in such areas, on the grounds that the locality is not included in the state's perspective or School Development Plan," said the judges.

The HC said the ban could not be sustained in the face of statistics that there was no secondary school in 50,000 villages and no primary school in 11,000 villages across Maharashtra. The government argued that it was the state's duty to provide quality education. The court said the "subject of imparting education cannot be said to be in the exclusive domain of the state".

The state's other contention that the masterplan was necessary to prevent schools from crowding in one locality also failed to cut ice with the HC. The government counsel claimed that due to the mushrooming of schools, the state was forced to close down divisions or even entire schools due to lack of demand.

Disagreeing with the view, the HC said the existence of a particular school in a locality could not be the grounds to deny permission to set up a new institution. "The children from the locality will have a choice between the private unaided school and the municipal or grant in aid schools. Taking any other view would be denial of opportunity to the children to exercise the option to pursue quality education offered by unaided schools to make them self-reliant and not merely potential pen pushers."

The government's final argument that that private institutions exploit students as well as teachers, led the court to say that such a condition exposed its weakness. "The state should play a proactive role in setting up permanent regulatory authority invested with the task of continual monitoring of such institutions, in respect of infrastructure, quality of education and also matters related to the staff and oversee if the fees were used in profiteering and commercialisation of education."

The court ruled that the July 2009 GR was discriminatory as private unaided English, Urdu and Gujrati medium schools as well as municipal Marathi-medium schools were approved during this period. The high court has directed the state to take a decision on the request of the schools for grant of recognition by May 31, 2010, so that they can start their academic year in June 2010.

India nod to set up 1,000 more model schools

These schools would be set up by state governments in educationally backward blocks (EBBs)

Published on 04/23/2010 - 10:50:56 AM

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Friday approved the setting up of 1,000 additional model schools by state governments in educationally backward blocks (EBBs), taking the total number of such schools to be established to 3,500.

The CCEA had approved the setting up of 2,500 schools by the state governments in November 2008 at an estimate of Rs 9,322 crore during the 11th Five Year Plan. Of this, the central government's share is Rs 7,457 crore, reports IANS.

The current proposal of the additional 1,000 schools has been estimated to cost Rs 3,304 crore with the central share of Rs 2,478 crore.

Thus, the total estimated central share for establishing 3,500 schools in the government sector is Rs 9,935 crore during the 11th Five Year Plan.

"Each school will have 560 students. Therefore, the total number of students in the 3,500 schools will be 19.60 lakh. The programme will be implemented through the societies set up by the state governments for this purpose," an official statement said.

"The present proposal is meant for 3,500 EBBs in 27 states and Union Territories," it added.

The schools will have classes six to 12 or nine to 12 and have standards equivalent or better than Kendriya Vidyalayas.

"The medium of instruction and affiliating board will be decided by the state governments," the statement said.

"The model school scheme is expected to provide a major fillip to availability of good quality schools in rural areas, thereby nurturing talent in such areas. Every EBB will be eligible for one model school under the state government," it added.

India to regulate international school boards

More than 250 schools, mainly in metro cities, are operating under the boards of Cambridge International Examinations and International Baccalaureate

Published on 04/23/2010 - 11:10:06 AM

New Delhi: India is set to regulate international school boards like International Baccalaureate (IB) that are giving affiliation to schools in the country but are out of the purview of the government accountability system.

A high-powered meeting, attended by Secretaries from various Ministries, discussed the issue and related matters. The meeting was held under the aegis of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.

"We want everything to be transparent. If any school board is entering India and providing affiliation, they must be accountable," a senior HRD ministry official said, reports IANS.

More than 250 schools, mainly in metro cities, are operating under the boards of Cambridge International Examinations and International Baccalaureate.
"These schools add an 'international' to their name and god knows what kind of education they are providing to the students. We want to know if these schools have the required infrastructure and qualified teachers as claimed by them," the official said.

Education sector should be given priority lending rates: Sibal

25 Apr 2010, 0118 hrs IST,Gulveen Aulakh,ET Bureau

CHANDIGARH: Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal is pushing for investments coming into the education sector to be facilitated by banks at priority lending rates.

The former science and technology minister, who is now spearheading a huge reform movement in the Indian education sector feels that for creating education institutes such as schools and colleges, banks should not charge a commercial rate of interest, as is the case at present.

“The education sector should be given priority lending rates so that finance can be availed of easily to create infrastructure. On one hand, other sectors are getting priority lending rates while for the education sector the regular commercial rates are applied, how we can expect more infrastructure to come up,” said Mr Sibal while talking about the government’s plan to create the Education Finance Corporation which, once created, intends to offer low rates of interest to those interested in investing in education.

“The Education Finance Corporation would offer refinance facilities at low rates of interest for those who want to invest in the education sector. For children pursuing their professional studies, the EFC would also offer loans,” said Mr Sibal.

The HRD minister who was in Chandigarh to speak on Education Reforms: Opportunities and Road Map Ahead at an event organized by PHD Chamber also added that in the next 30 years, education would be the largest area of investment in India.

According to facts shared by the minister, around 14 million students end up going to college from the 220 million that attend school. The government plans to increase this gross enrollment ratio from the current 12.4% to 30% by 2020 and further up to 40% by 2025.

However, the 44 million students that would head to colleges would need 700-1,000 more universities in India in the next 10 years. The present number stands at 480 universities. Further, around 40,000-45,000 colleges would be required for these 44 million students in the next 10 years.

Mr Sibal felt that unless the EFC and banks provide efficient rates for investors, the government may not be able to achieve its plan of reaching the GER target it has set for 2025.

To help the education minister to build a comprehensive Bill for reforming the entire education system in India the task force on national commission on higher education and research is expected to come out with its final recommendations next week. Mr Sibal said the policy making body will provide necessary answers to problems related to the education sector.

Apart from allowing easier access to funds, Mr Sibal said that vocational education would have to be given its due and the HRD ministry is in the process of preparing alternative streams and curriculum that would enable children to choose their vocation.

“We have asked Bollywood to join hands with us to introduce a course in animation (that is often used in film-making) in XI and XII classes. This is in response to market demand,” said Mr Sibal while adding that other industry clusters like textiles in Ludhiana and horticulture in Himachal Pradesh, automobile engineering and designing in Pune could follow in the same pattern.

Money from education cess to be finally spent on schemes

Press Trust of India / New Delhi April 22, 2010, 13:55 IST
After lying unspent for three years, the money collected from the proceeds of higher education cess would now be utilised for several schemes, including setting up of a finance corporation and for strengthening IITs and IIMs.

Government has collected Rs 8,334 crore so far as secondary and higher education cess from April 1, 2007. However, this money has remained unspent and is lying with the Finance Ministry, official sources said.

The HRD Ministry has drawn up a plan to utilise the money by creating a single and non-lapsable corpus fund for secondary and higher education.
Part of the money will be utilised for the proposed National Higher Education Finance Corporation (NHEFC) which will be mandated to provide concessional loans to higher educational institutions.
   
There are also plans to provide funds from this cess amount towards new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, IITs and IIMs. Besides, a part of the money will be spent on the newly-launched Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan scheme in secondary education.
   
A proposal to this effect will be moved before the Cabinet soon, sources said.
   
As per the HRD Ministry's plan, the proposed NHEFC will be an institutional mechanism to address the investment needs in higher education sector.
   
The proposed corporation will nurture philanthropic tradition in education by providing loans at concessional rates on interest to such agencies for establishment of higher and vocational institutions in educationally backward areas.
   
It will be a NABARD-like institution in higher education. It will raise debt by issue or sale of bonds for augmenting resource from the market. It will finance creation of universities.
   
The government is collecting another two per cent cess of the total tax payable for primary education. Government has collected Rs 23,509 crore as primary education cess in the last four years.
   
The primary education cess is credited into a non-lapsable fund 'Prarambhik Shiksha Kosh' and is utilised for schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Mid-Day-Meal.

Why UP, Bihar, Bengal fear the maths

Tue, Apr 20 05:06 AM
If Mayawati, Nitish Kumar and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee are on the same side on the issue of implementation of the Right to Education Act, the answer lies in the numbers. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, as per the Union Human Resource Development Ministry's latest figures, lag way behind other states in terms of education indices and, hence, are the ones which will have to pitch in the most for implementing the RTE Act.

Countrywide estimates drawn up by the ministry show that of the 13.3 lakh new teachers who need to be inducted over the next three years to provide education to every child between the ages of six and 14, Uttar Pradesh has to take in at least 3.9 lakh, Bihar 2.2 lakh and West Bengal 1 lakh.

Of the 7.8 lakh additional classrooms required, again UP needs the most (2.5 lakh), Bihar (2.5 lakh) and Bengal (1.3 lakh). These three states will also have to construct the maximum number of toilets for girls in schools and to make provision for drinking water in schools.

Shared by the HRD Ministry with all state governments at a meeting earlier this year, these figures indicate the kind of investment and work needed to meet the goal of free and compulsory education to children.

The government estimates that it will require Rs 1.71 lakh crore for implementation of the RTE Act over the next five years. The Finance Commission has released Rs 13,000 crore to the states to kickstart the implementation process, and the ministry is in the process of getting a 65:35/75:25 Centre-state fund-sharing arrangement through the Expenditure Finance Committee to open the purse strings for states.
"The fact is that states like UP, Bihar, West Bengal or even Madhya Pradesh have not given due attention to education over the years. The negligence has led to a pile-up of teacher vacancies and worsened school infrastructure. In contrast, states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh are more educationally enlightened. That apart, several states that now need to invest in education have been lagging behind on requirements under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. All that now adds up... That explains why certain states are claiming a fund crunch and demanding a Centre-state fund sharing arrangement like 90:10 or so," said a source.

As per ministry estimates, UP will require nearly Rs 38,000 crore over the next five years for RTE implementation while Bihar will need some Rs 26,000 crore. Bengal's fund requirement is estimated at Rs 14,000 crore, Andhra's at Rs 10,000 crore, Maharashtra needs some Rs 9,800 crore and Madhya Pradesh nearly Rs 8,200 crore.
With teacher requirements for RTE to be met over a period of three years, maximum funds are likely to go towards paying their salaries (28 per cent), followed by expenditure for civil works (24 per cent), for child entitlements (17 per cent) and for special training for out-of-school children (9 per cent). School facilities will require 8 per cent of the funds, inclusive education 6 per cent and teacher development needs 5 per cent of the entire projection.

Sources said that while a 75:25 fund-sharing formula between the Centre and states will mean an average cost of Rs 300 crore per state per annum, a 65:35 formula will translate into some Rs 500 crore per state per annum. It will still remain a tall order for UP and Bihar.
Anubhuti Vishnoi

Why states don't want to pick up tab for RTE rollout

Akshaya Mukul, TNN, Apr 7, 2010, 02.54am IST

NEW DELHI: Why are states worked up on financing of the Right to Education Act? HRD ministry's own elaborate calculation of fund requirement for RTE under various sub-heads — teachers' salary, child entitlements, civil works, management costs etc — shows that for five years UP will require Rs 38,909 crore followed by Bihar (Rs 26,600 crore).

West Bengal will need Rs 14,342 crore, Andhra Pradesh Rs 10,621 crore, Maharashtra Rs 9,852 crore, Jharkhand Rs 8,613 crore, Madhya Pradesh Rs 8,231 crore, Assam Rs 7,252 crore, Gujarat Rs 7,035 crore and Delhi Rs 972 crore.

No wonder sharing of funds between the Centre and states for the Act is becoming a matter of concern for states.

But sources say the HRD ministry consulted each and every state. HRD is proposing a reworked financing scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan at 65:35. The ministry's report on harmonization of RTE with SSA shows that the major demand made by states during the consultation was that the additional burden due to RTE be borne by the Centre.

During the consultation, UP's representative had said that RTE will result in an additional burden of Rs 18,500 crore. He had said the state had limited resources and therefore its share be frozen at the current SSA level (60:40 in 2009-10) and the additional burden be borne by the Centre.

Bihar had demanded that sharing of funds between the Centre and states should be 90:10. Even Delhi demanded the same funding pattern. Jharkhand had pointed out that additional funds provided by the Finance Commission should not be awarded through the treasury system since it will result in delay and liquidity problems.

The state's official demanded that funding be done through the SSA society structure. Chhattisgarh was the only state that said it was comfortable with the current funding pattern.