MHRD bends rules for JK to achieve targets
Srinagar: In a significant development, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has relaxed its rules for implementation of centrally sponsored schemes- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). The move comes after the state government failed to achieve the required targets under the schemes.
The union ministry has decided to give relaxation to state government to merge the utilization of funds sanctioned under the schemes.
“Flexibility will be given to state government to utilize SSA funds in secondary and higher secondary schools while as RMSA funds can be utilized in primary and middle schools,” a top official in Department said.
He said the announcement was made by the secretary MHRD in October first week during the two day meeting convened to review implementation of centrally sponsored in J&K state.
“We are trying to make effective utilization of funds under the schemes,” the official said.
As per the previous rules, the funds approved under SSA scheme were utilized on primary schools while as RMSA funds were utilized on secondary and higher secondary schools.
Officials said the relaxation was given to the state government after its failure to complete the targets approved under respective schemes.
Also, the union Ministry has asked the state government to outsource Mid Day Meals (MDM) scheme to Non Government Organizations (NGOs) for its implementation in schools.
“But the state government couldn’t start the outsourcing process because of poor response from the NGOs to run schemes in schools,” the official said.
Earlier, the J&K government had decided to depute a team of officials to Himachal Pradesh to adopt their model for implementation of MDM scheme in schools.
“The exercise remained confined to papers only. The Department has shelved the process,” he said.
Interestingly, the J&K state has failed to complete the targets set by MHRD for construction of school buildings approved under RMSA and SSA scheme. J&K has very poor performance in completing civil works and subsequently the funds remain unutilized which later get lapsed,” the official said.
Secretary school education said the relaxation in utilization of funds in different schemes will help in over all development of the education sector in state.
“Given the flexibility in utilization of funds, we will try to invest funds from both the schemes in different quarters be it infrastructural development or other aspects,” Farooq Ahmad Shah said.