January 8, 2016 6:21:30 pm
Six months after the BJP government at the Centre announced winding up a centrally funded programme of setting up 6,000 model schools in backward areas across the country, the Congress government in Assam on Friday announced it would run 14 such schools with its own funds.
“It was a highly deplorable decision of the BJP-led government at the Centre to wash its hands off an ambitious scheme of setting up 6,000 model schools for poor children in the backward areas of the country. The scheme, which was launched in 2007 by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh, was supposed to be supported on a 90:10 ratio by the Centre till 2017-18. But union HRD minister Smriti Zubin Irani by a letter dated July 25, 2015 has informed us that the central government is winding up the scheme with immediate effect,” Assam chief minister Gogoi said in a statement on Friday.
Gogoi said that the Assam government had already received Rs 111 crore out of total of Rs 293 crore as advance for construction of 14 such model schools in Assam. “But with the scheme shut down, construction of the 14 schools has remained incomplete,” Gogoi said. The UPA government had, in the original scheme, also included Rs 75 lakh to Assam as annual recurring expenses for the 14 schools, he informed.
“While the BJP-led government’s decision to wind up this scheme has come as a bolt from the blue for hundreds of students from poor families of the backward areas, we have decided to complete construction and run these 14 schools with funds from the state government,” the chief minister said.
Lashing out at the Narendra Modi government for winding up various such schemes launched by the erstwhile UPA government, Assam chief minister said winding up the model school scheme was only one such example of the “anti-poor” policy of the BJP regime. “This is only on example of various such schemes that were intended at uplift of the poorer sections that the BJP government has closed down,” Gogoi said.
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