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In Budget allocation, higher education loses to madrasas

In Budget allocation, higher education loses to madrasas

Author: Shiv Sahay Singh
Publication: ExpressIndia.com
Date: April 6, 2009
URL: http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/in-budget-allocation-higher-education-loses-to-madrasas/443604/

As the ruling Left Front loses support within the minority community in the state, the government has increased the Budget allocation for department of minorities development and madrasa education by over four times.

The Budget of the department has been raised from Rs 110 crore to Rs 524.11 crore for the next fiscal. In his Budget speech on March 20, state finance minister Asim Dasgupta said that the allocation would be primarily used for upgrading 110 junior high madrasas and 89 high madrasas to higher madrasas.

At present, there are around 550 state-recognised madrasas in West Bengal.

But compare this amount to the budgetary allocation in education sector. The plan outlay of Higher education Department has been increased from 118.50 crore to Rs 149 crore - an increase of Rs 30.5 crores - and that too for around 400 state government colleges.

One can also compare it with the money allotted for school education. For the last fiscal it was Rs 800 crore. Now, the government has increased it to Rs 1,093 crore - a hike of Rs 293 crore. But the number of schools in the state is over 50,000 and the money will also be used to fund programmes like Sarva Sikhsa Abhiyaan.

Adding to it, the government has also promised to appoint 50,000 teachers this year.

As political observers note that after the Left performed poorly in Muslim dominated areas during last year's panchayat elections, the government has been trying to woo the community by doling out funds for the minorities development programmes.

The latest allocation of Rs 524 crore will also be used for upgradation of Aliah university. The university set up in 2008, has plans of starting ambitious five-year integrated courses in management, science and engineering. At present, the university, with around 170 students is being run from a rented location in Salt Lake.

"In the interest of promoting employment generation for minorities communities, along with disbursement of Rs 35.74 crore through the West Bengal Minorities Development Finance Corporation, an additional sum of Rs 20 crore has been decided by the state government for allocation to this corporation by way of assistance for training leaders to further employment generation," the Budget statement states.

Allocation for minorities department
2008 -09
Rs 110 crore
2009 -10
Rs 524.11 crore
number of madrasas

where it will be spent
* Upgradation of 199 madrasas
* Upgradation of Aliah University
* Providing loans and training to minorities

Allocation for Higher education
2008 -09
Rs 118.5 crore
2009 -10
Rs 149 crore
number of colleges

School education
2008-09: Rs 800 crore
2009-10: Rs 1,093 crore
Number of schools: 50,000

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