Today:- Aug – The Karnataka government has decided to make education free for all girls from Class 1 to graduation level in all public and aided private schools and colleges, barring only professional institutions, from the next academic year. The earmarked funds, however, are anything but grand.
“We expect around 18 lakh students whose parents’ income would be less than Rs 10 lakh to opt for this scheme and are planning to earmark Rs 110 crore,” higher education minister Basavaraj Rayareddi said, hoping only the poor would avail of the scheme. But even by that arithmetic, each student would get just over Rs 611 a year. Similar schemes have been launched in Telangana and Punjab.
The initiative, the government stressed, was to impart free education to underprivileged girls who generally drop out of school after Class 10, especially in rural areas. “It is mainly in rural areas where girls come from families earning less than Rs 10 lakh that the government needs to extend incentives. But the government will not discriminate between cities and rural areas and poor and rich. It is ready to reimburse fees to all girl students,” he said. Education is already free for girls from poor families till Class VIII under the Right To Education (RTE) Act.