Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday released the third tranche of the Jagananna Vidya Deevena of Rs. 686 crore. The money was credited directly into the accounts of 9,87,965 mothers of 11.03 lakh students pursuing higher studies.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said education alone can eliminate poverty and empower the people. The state is spending Rs. 6,259 crore for fee reimbursement benefiting 21,48,477 students through the Vidya Deevena scheme since 2019. Besides, Rs. 1,778 crore pending dues of the previous government has also been cleared. He said the government is aiming for 100% graduates and 100% literacy rate in the state.
The Chief Minister said the scheme is being implemented to make education accessible to the poor and fulfil the dreams of students to pursue higher education without burdening their families. He said the amount is directly credited to the student' mothers' accounts as they could have better supervision on the college facilities and students' wellbeing which would also improve accountability from college management.
Jagan urged the beneficiaries to pay the credited amount to the colleges within seven-10 days without fail and notified that the government shall directly credit the amount to the college management if the beneficiaries fail to make payments on time. He said the government had also taken steps to support merit students who secured admission in private universities. For this, the state has made it mandatory to fill 50% of seats in medical and dental streams, 35% seats in engineering and other courses under the convener quota. So far, 2,118 students studying in private universities are availing total fee reimbursement through Vidya Deevena scheme.
The CM recalled the All India Survey on Higher Education that stated that the gross enrollment ratio (GER) of students between 17-23 years in colleges increased to 35.2% in Andhra Pradesh, registering a growth of 8.6% against the national growth of 3.04%. While the GER of SC, ST, and girl students across the country increased by 1.7%, 4.5%, and 2.27%, in Andhra Pradesh the increase was 7.5%, 9.5%, and 11.03%, respectively.
New colleges, universities coming up in state
The Chief Minister said the government is also implementing Vasathi Deevena along with Vidya Deevena and so far it has spent Rs. 8,526 crore alone on these two schemes. Besides these, the government is also bringing up 16 new medical colleges, a JNTU in Vizianagaram district, a university in Prakasam district, along with an Architecture University in Kadapa, a tribal engineering college in Kurupam, medical college in Paderu, and Tribal University in Salur.
He said that 10 new degree colleges are being set up across the state and 154 degree colleges are being revamped with Rs. 880 crore under the Nadu-Nedu project. As part of the reforms in the education sector, bilingual textbooks have been introduced, internships have been made mandatory, and skill up-courses are being offered through 30 skill development colleges and one Skill University across the state by partnering with companies like Microsoft.