Bhubaneswar: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday launched the Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) scheme, intended to develop thousands of schools across the country, in Odisha. Out of 97 Central Schools and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, the scheme will be implemented in 63 institutes run by the Centre in the first phase in the state, Pradhan said.
The Centre had asked all the states and Union Territories to sign MoUs with the Department of School Education and Literacy of the Ministry of Education for implementation of the scheme. The Odisha government, however, is yet to do it. "The PM SHRI scheme will be implemented in the state with more than Rs 120 crore," the union minister said. For 2023-24, the Center has sanctioned Rs 50.8 crore for the state's schools run by the Centre, of which Rs 12.7 crore has already been released in the first installment.
A total of Rs 7.27 crore was released for 37 central schools and Rs 5.43 crore for 26 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas. Pradhan said the government of India is providing about Rs 70,000 crore to various states each year for development of the education sector and Odisha is getting nearly Rs 4,200 crore each year under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan and PM Poshan schemes.
Expressing displeasure over non-implementation of the PM SHRI scheme in Odisha government-run schools, the Union Minister said development of education and students is a combined responsibility and the state government should come forward for this. "In the last one year, I have written letters to the chief minister (Naveen Patnaik) thrice for implementation of the PM SHRI scheme in Odisha schools. I once again request the CM with folding hands to consider it, he said. The Centre had launched the PM SHRI scheme on September 7, 2022.
"A few states have not implemented the scheme for political reasons and I am sure that Odisha is not part of those states. If the scheme would have been implemented in only two schools in each block and municipality, Odisha schools could have received Rs 1500 crore funds from the Centre," Pradhan said. Earlier in the day, he inaugurated administrative-cum-academic and hostel-cum-guest house building of the Eastern Regional Language Centre here.