Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday released Rs. 693.81 crore, the second tranche of Jagananna Vidya Deevena, directly to the accounts of the mothers of 10.97 lakh students.

Jagan said the state had spent Rs. 5,573 crore for fee reimbursements through the Vidya Deevena scheme since 2019, besides clearing Rs. 1,880 crore pending dues of the previous government. He said the scheme has been designed to make education accessible to the poor and create opportunities for students who want to pursue higher education without burdening their families.

The Chief Minister pointed out that according to the 2011 Census, the state's illiteracy rate is 33 per cent while the national rate is 27 per cent. Drawing a comparison with the BRICS nations on student enrollment in higher studies, he said it is 51.8 per cent in Brazil, 83.4 per cent in Russia, 83.4 per cent in China, but only 27 per cent in India. It is hard to eliminate poverty if children don't pursue higher studies, he added.

Jagan said the state government has been committed to the education sector and rolled out various schemes like Jagananna Amma Vodi, Goru Mudha, Vidya Kanuka, and Vasati Deevena to ensure that no family runs into debts for the sake of providing education to their children. The government has spent Rs. 26,677 crore on education alone, he said, adding that earlier money was paid directly to colleges but from this year it's being credited to the student's mother's accounts so that they can keep a check on college facilities and students' well-being.

The first installment under Jagananna Vidya Deevena was released in April this year and the second on Thursday. The third installment will be paid in December and the fourth in February next year.

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