Scheme to upgrade schools, with NEP condition for states approved by Cabinet

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the PM SHRI (PM Schools for Rising India) scheme under which 14,500 schools, to be identified in consultation with states and Union Territories, will be upgraded at a cost of Rs 27,360 crore over the next five years.

PM SHRI will be a new Centrally sponsored scheme where the Government will bear 60 per cent of the implementation cost while states will be responsible for the remaining 40 per cent, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

The scheme will be open to states that agree to implement the NEP 2020 in entirety. “States/UTs would sign (the)

Scheme to upgrade schools

MoU agreeing to implement NEP in entirety with (the) Centre laying down the commitments for supporting these schools for achieving specified quality assurance as PM SHRI schools,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Education.

Pradhan said the objective of the exercise is to have a set of model schools — at least two in every block — where key components of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 are showcased. The schools will be chosen after a rigorous assessment following applications from state governments, he said.

The scheme is open to schools run by the Centre, such as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, as well as those run by the state governments and local bodies. To qualify for the scheme, the schools will have to meet a prescribed benchmark involving about 60 parameters, from availability of electricity to toilets.

The Education Minister said that under the scheme, which is expected to cover 18 lakh students, money will be transferred “directly to school authorities”. Moreover, flexibility will be provided so that schools can choose the areas where up to 40 per cent of the total funds are to be spent.

Last month, the Centre had informed the Lok Sabha that most states and Union Territories have initiated action on NEP while West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are yet to inform the status of implementation.

On Wednesday, Pradhan said states are largely onboard with the idea of PM SHRI. “The policy department of the ministry (of education) has held multiple rounds of discussions on this with the states over the last one year. The application window will be opened soon so that states, or schools with the permission of respective state governments, can start applying. We aim to have the first set of upgraded schools during the ongoing year itself,” he said.

A key highlight of the scheme is the decision to replicate the Gujarat government’s Vidya Samiksha Kendra model, under which academic data is collected for analysis using AI tools.


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