Eight opposition-ruled states have not come on board with the PM SHRI schools scheme and the matter should be strongly pursued with them, the parliamentary standing committee on education has said in a report last week.

The committee, chaired by BJP‘s Vivek Thakur, noted that Bihar, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have still not signed the memorandum of understanding with the school education department of the union education ministry for the new centrally sponsored scheme.

The parliamentary committee has now recommended that the department “vigorously take up the matter to bring these states/UTs on board to sign MoUs” under the scheme.

“The committee strongly believes the PM SHRI schools will be the torchbearers of NEP (National Education Policy) 2020 and New India. PM SHRI Schools concept will have the ability to cater the aspirations of a young India,” the panel has said. The scheme aims at strengthening and upgrading select 14,500 schools across states on all quality and academic parameters.

Education ministry officials recently said more than 9,000 schools had already been selected for the scheme.

It is gathered that the education ministry has been pursuing the matter with the eight states and letters have also gone out to their chief ministers.

The scheme envisages to upgrade 14,500 schools at a cost of ‘27,360 crore (this includes a central share of ‘18,128 crore) over a five-year period. Thirty states/UTs, and the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and Navodaya Vidyalaya Sangathan have signed the MoU and have started the selection process of such schools.

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