SRINAGAR: A total of 230 schools in Jammu and Kashmir have been selected to receive additional grants of Rs 50 lakh each for enhancing and upgrading their infrastructure under the PM Shri Scheme of Schools.

The decision was made during the maiden Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting held on 10 May 2023.

The meeting was convened by the Economic Advisor School Education and Literacy (SEL) and attended by various officials, including Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary of the J&K School Education Department (SED), the project director of J&K Samagra Shiksha, and directors of school education from Kashmir and Jammu divisions.

During the meeting, the MoE selected 230 schools in Jammu and Kashmir to receive the additional grant of Rs 50 lakhs each.

This grant aims to strengthen and upgrade the infrastructure of these schools, as well as support various innovative initiatives.

An official familiar with the PAB meeting revealed that these grants will be provided in addition to other approved grants under the Capex budget or J&K Samagra Shiksha.

“Each selected school will receive Rs 50 lakhs as additional grants, with a portion of 15 to 30 percent allocated for non-recurring expenses such as the construction and renovation of toilet blocks,” said the official.

He further explained that the majority of the funds will be utilized for innovative projects, including water harvesting systems, lighting systems, and other creative ideas. Additionally, the funds can be used for procuring uniforms, ID cards, and school bags for the students.

“The progress of these selected schools will be reviewed after five years. Our goal is to strengthen and develop them to be on par with private schools and serve as model schools,” added the official.

The PM SHRI schools scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 September 2022, with the aim of developing more than 14,500 schools across India. Under this scheme, existing schools are selected, strengthened, and upgraded to deliver quality education that enhances students’ cognitive development.

“The objective is to nurture well-rounded individuals equipped with key 21st-century skills,” stated the official.

The shortlisted schools will be transformed into model schools, with a focus on both the curriculum and co-curricular activities for the students. These schools are expected to showcase the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 and become exemplary institutions over time.

The scheme is proposed to run from 2022-23 to 2026-27. After that period, it will be the responsibility of the respective states and Union Territories to maintain the achieved benchmarks.

“The scheme is expected to directly benefit more than 20 lakh students, with a total project cost of Rs 27,360 crore over five years, including a central share of 18,128 crore,” stated the official document.

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