Karnataka: The Government of Karnataka introduced the state budget for FY 2023-24 under the newly elected Congress government led by Siddaramaiah. The budget has many highlights including the government’s decision to do away with National Education Policy, 2020. The state government will instead introduce a new education policy of its own that will better suit the socio-economic and cultural paradigm of the state. The government has decided to spend 11% of its budget on education. The allocated budget of Rs 37,857 crore is Rs 373 crore less than budget presented for 2023-24 before elections.
The government aims to spend Rs 310 crore for new classrooms in schools as well as Rs 340 crores for new classrooms in college. There is an allotment of Rs 550 crore for construction of 8311 classrooms in colleges across the state. Rs200 crore have been allocated for construction of toilet complexes in 150 colleges and 5775 schools for which ratio of students in an institution will be considered.
Under the budget there is a grant of Rs153 crores which translates to Rs 20,000–45,000 to every primary and secondary school for general maintenance and upkeep of the buildings. There is an additional reserve of Rs 100 cores for repairing rain damage in the buildings.
The government will also provide a supplementary nutrition food meal twice a week for classes 9 and 10. This meal will be consisted of eggs/chikkis/bananas for around 60 lakhs students.
Many reference books will be translated into Kannada to remove language barriers for students.
‘NEP undermines constitution and democracy‘
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched a scathing attack on New Education Policy, 2000 and described the central government scheme as ‘incompatible’ with federal structure. “The National Education Policy implemented by the Central government is incompatible with the federal system of governance. It has several anomalies which undermine the constitution and democracy. A Uniform Education System does not suit a nation like India which has diverse religions, languages and cultures. A New Education Policy will be formulated keeping in mind the local social, cultural and economic milieu of the state,” said CM Siddaramaiah.
The previous government propositions on NEP 2020 will be discarded and state will set out to introduce a new education policy of its own.