New Delhi, June 13 (IANS): Most States are demanding more funds to implement the landmark Right to Education Act to provide compulsory and free education to all children below 14 years of age. The demand was raised in meetings with Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal, an official said.
"The HRD Ministry is stressing on a 55:45 ratio for share of expenses between the Central and State governments," Anshu Vaish, the Secretary in charge of School Education in the Ministry, told IANS. But the States are seeking a larger chunk of the share from New Delhi.
Sibal is holding meetings with state education ministers to ensure that the states prepare the infrastructure to implement the Right to Education Act that came into force April 1.
"Many states have been covered. He (Sibal) will now meet the education ministers from the northeastern states, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh," Vaish said.
Sibal has met education ministers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Assam.
The 13th Finance Commission has provided for Rs.25,000 crore to the states over five years for implementation of the Right to Education Act.
This is over and above allocations for centrally-sponsored schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the teacher education scheme and the mid-day meal scheme, which is the largest of its kind in the world. For 2010-11, the allocation for such schemes is Rs.15,000 crore.