SM Fasiullah for Beyondheadlines
Students have a reason to cheer up as education sector has got a major boost in Andhra Pradesh Budget 2013-14, which was presented in the Assembly on 18 March 2013.
In the Rs 1.61 lakh crore state budget, the government has allocated Rs 5,400 crore for the fee reimbursement and scholarships, an increase of Rs 17,00 crore from Rs 3,700 crore in the previous year.
Students from economically backward classes are expected to benefit from this significant increase in allocations for the purpose, while students pursuing professional courses are likely to be main beneficiaries.
Due to verification delays and other procedural issues, those eligible for scholarship use to receive fee reimbursement at the end of the academic year.
But from next year, students will receive scholarships every month following completion of verification process in two months, said Principal Secretary Raymond Peter.
For higher education, the allocations have been increased from Rs 2,757 crore to Rs 2,818 crore and for technical education from Rs 987 crore to Rs 1,263 crore.
The allocations for school education have been increased from Rs 14,568 crore to Rs 16,990 crore, while for technical education from Rs 987 crore to Rs 1,263 crore, up by Rs 276 crore.
The state government has also sanctioned Rs 352 crore for a medical college in the district of Nellore and Rs 120 crore for another medical college in Nizamabad District.
In addition, Rs 300 crore and Rs 100 crore have been allocated to establish two new engineering colleges in the Kalikiri town of Chittoor District and in the Sultanpur village of Medak District, respectively.
However, the allocations for IIITs located in Basar, Idupulapaya and Nuzividu have been decreased from Rs 560 crore to Rs 353 crore.
Finance Minister Alam Narayan Reddy, who presented the latest budget, has allocated Rs 1027 crore for minorities welfare, a whopping 110% increase from Rs 480 crore a year ago.