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Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Odisha to Embrace PM-Shri Scheme: Officials

​Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Odisha will adopt the central government’s Pradhan Mantri Schools For Rising India (PM-SHRI) scheme by signing memorandums of understanding, officials of the Union education ministry said on Sunday.

The development comes days after the Union government said it will halt the disbursal of funds under its flagship Samagra Shiksha (universal education) scheme for 2023-24 to five states and one Union territory that have not signed pacts to adopt the PM-SHRI scheme. These were Delhi, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Kerala.

Tamil Nadu wrote to the education ministry on the matter on March 15, Odisha on March 22 and Kerala on March 30, officials said, declining to be named.

“The state (Kerala) is looking forward to establishing PM Shri schools in Kerala. In this regard, a state level committee headed by Principal Secretary, general education, has been constituted,” Kerala general education department said in its letter to school education secretary Sanjay Kumar. “Based on the recommendations of the committee, the MoU for establishing PM Shri schools will be signed by the state before the academic year 2024-25.”

“It is requested to kindly release the 37.5% of the fund sanctioned for the financial year 2023-24,” the state added.

Similarly, both Tamil Nadu and Odisha have assured to sign the MoUs before the beginning of the next academic session, and requested the Centre to release the instalments of the 2023-24 financial year.

In a post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, the Union education ministry appreciated the Kerala government for taking a “far reaching decision” to sign an MoU to implement the PM-SHRI Scheme. “This partnership between the Kerala Government and the Ministry of Education, Government of India, signifies stronger Center-State relations. We enthusiastically support this initiative as it reflects our collective dedication to strengthen school education and ensure the comprehensive development of students in Kerala,” the ministry said.

So far, 30 states and Union territories have signed MoUs with the ministry for the PM-SHRI programme, which aims to upgrade 14,500 schools benefitting 1.8 million students, and ensuring these schools serve as model institutes and encapsulate the spirit of National Education Policy 2020. The government has selected 6,448 schools from 28 states and UTs for the upgrade in the first round.

Once these three states sign the MoUs, only Delhi, Punjab and West Bengal will be left from adopting the PM-SHRI scheme.

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(Source: HT)

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