Centre: Concerns Over Five States Not Signing MoUs for PM SHRI Schools and Punjab's Non-Implementation

Centre: Concerns Over Five States Not Signing MoUs for PM SHRI Schools and Punjab's Non-Implementation

Concerns raised as five states refuse to sign MoUs for PM SHRI schools, Punjab halts implementation despite taking funds.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, February 29, 2024, 07:08 PM IST
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The Centre has expressed strong concerns about five states not signing MoUs with the education ministry for PM SHRI schools and Punjab not implementing it despite continuing to take funds under the Samagra Shiksha scheme, sources said on Thursday.

Odisha, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Delhi have not yet signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Ministry of Education, while 30 states and union territories (UTs) have done so. The scheme targets to upgrade 14,500 schools and is expected to benefit 1.8 million students. It also aims to ensure these schools serve as model institutes and encapsulate the spirit of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The government has already selected 6,448 schools from 28 states and UTs for the upgrade in the first round.

"Despite taking funds from Centre for Samagra Shiksha Scheme, the refusal of five States/UTs, namely Odisha, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Delhi to sign MOUs for PM SHRI schools reflects a troubling pattern. Punjab, after initially signing the MoU, stopped the implementation of PM SHRI," a source said. "It is a clear politicization by the States/UTs, where they accept funds under Samagra Shiksha but resist signing an MoU for PM SHRI," the source added.

Asked about if the Centre can halt funding under Samgra Shiksha scheme for these states, the source said "nothing can be ruled out". The Samagra Shiksha Scheme is the largest Central government scheme for school education for universalisation of education.

The scheme also supports the states in implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009; and Strengthening and up-gradation of State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and other agencies for teacher training. In the financial year 2023-23, the Centre set aside Rs 37,453 out of Rs 68,804 allocated for the school education in its budget.

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