Amaravati: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday released the third tranche of the ‘Jagananna Vidya Deevena’ of Rs 686 crore, crediting directly into the accounts of 9,87,965 mothers of 11.03 lakh students pursuing their higher studies.
Speaking on this occasion, the Chief Minister opined that education alone can eliminate poverty and empower the people and thus spent Rs 6259 crore for the total fee reimbursement benefiting 21,48,477 students through the Vidya Deevena scheme since 2019, besides clearing Rs 1,778 crore pending dues of the previous government during. He said that the government is aiming for 100 percent graduates besides 100 percent literacy rate in the State.
The Chief Minister said that the scheme is being implemented to make education accessible to the poor, especially fulfilling the dream of pursuing higher education without burdening their families. He stated that the amount is directly credited to the mother's accounts as they could have better supervision on the college facilities and students' wellbeing, which would also improve accountability from college management. If there arises any problem with the college management or with Vidya Deevena, beneficiaries were advised to call on the 1902 toll-free number.
In regard to the scheme, the Chief Minister urged the beneficiaries to pay the credited amount to the colleges within 7-10 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 that the government had also taken steps to support the merit students, who secured admission in private universities by making a law where 50 percent of seats in Medical and Dental streams, 35 percent of the seats in Engineering and other courses will be filled under convener quota. So far, 2118 students studying in private universities are availing of total fee reimbursement through the Vidya Deevena scheme.
On this occasion, he recalled the All India Survey on Higher Education, which stated that the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) of students between 17-23 years in colleges was increased to 35.2 percent in Andhra Pradesh registering a growth of 8.6 percent against the national growth of 3.04 percent. While the GER of SC, ST, and Girl students across the country has increased by 1.7 percent, 4.5 percent, and 2.27 percent, in Andhra Pradesh the increase was 7.5, 9.5, and 11.03 percent respectively.
The Chief Minister stated that the government is also implementing Vasathi Deevena along with Vidya Deevena and so far spent Rs 8526 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, a 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 also offering skill up-gradation courses through 30 skill development colleges and one Skill University across the State by partnering with companies like Microsoft.
Ministers Adimulapu Suresh, Botsa Satyanarayana, Chief Secretary Dr Sameer Sharma, Higher Education Special CS Satish Chandra, Social Welfare Special Secretary K Sunita, APSCHE Chairman K. Hemachandrareddy, Higher Education Principal Secretary K Shyamala Rao, Tribal Welfare Secretary Kantilal Dande, Minority Welfare Special Secretary Gandham Chandradu, and other senior officials were present.