'Centre Yet To Respond To Gujarat Government's Education Funding Demands', Says the State
The Gujarat government yesterday told the Legislative Assembly that the Centre was yet to respond to its demand to provide funding for several initiatives taken by the state in the education sector. "Although the Gujarat government has written to the BJP-led Central government seeking funds, the Centre was yet to respond," state Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said in his written reply to a query raised by Congress MLA Tejashreeben Patel during the Question Hour. Patel had sought to know the status of an old proposal moved to the Ministry of HRD by Gujarat government seeking central assistance against the cost incurred by the state in recruiting over one lakh primary school teachers and distribution of textbooks to school children of Class I to VII for free.
"Before the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) was launched in 2001, the state government had requested the MHRD to provide central assistance for these two activities taken up by state to develop education sector. I want to know if the state government has made any efforts in the last two years to see that the Centre accepts these demands," asked Patel.
In his written response, Chudasama told her that the state government had written a letter in September last year.
However, he admitted that the Centre has not give any response yet.
Taking a jibe at the Gujarat government, Patel alleged that the state has now shortened the list of demands after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014.
"Ahead of Lok Sabha Polls, the BJP government here used to run advertisements claiming that UPA government has slapped Gujarat by not accepting their long list of demands.
But, after the BJP came to power at the Centre, it seems that you do not spot any injustice when your demands are not heard," Patel alleged.
Responding to Patel, MoS for Primary Education Nanubhai Vanani said the Cetnre has accepted many of their demands, such as bearing the fees of all those children, who took admission in private schools in Gujarat under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
"The Centre has recently approved our demand to bear fees under the RTE Act. Although Gujarat ranks 10th in terms of population, we receive SSA grant meant for a 9th ranked state, which is much higher. Thus, there is no question of injustice by the Centre," the minister claimed.
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