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Odisha Missing PM SHRI

Bhubaneswar: Odisha yet to get benefit of the Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) scheme launched by Government of India in September last year. The State Government has not yet signed MoU with the Centre for implementation of the scheme in Odisha.

This was informed by Union Minister of State for Education, Annpurna Devi in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

While replying an unstarred question of BJP MP Basanta Kumar Panda, Annpurna Devi said, “States and UTs were asked to sign a MoU with the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSE&L), Ministry of Education, Government of India, for implementation of PM SHRI scheme. However, the State of Odisha has not signed MoU with DoSE&L, MoE so far.”

The Minister said the Union Cabinet had approved the new Centrally Sponsored Scheme on 7 September, 2022.

This initiative is intended to prepare PM SHRI Schools in which every student feels welcomed and cared for, where a safe and stimulating learning environment exists, where a wide range of learning experiences are offered, and where good physical infrastructure and appropriate resources conducive to learning are available to all students, she said.

Under the scheme, different environment friendly aspects will be executed in the schools like energy efficient using solar panels and LED lightings, nutrition gardens with natural farming, waste management, plastic free, water conservation and harvesting, study of traditions/practices related to protection of environment, climate change related hackathons and awareness generation to incorporate organic lifestyle, Annapurna Devi said.

Under the scheme, there is provision of setting up of more than 14,500 PM SHRI Schools by strengthening the existing schools from amongst schools managed by Central Government/State/UT Government/local bodies.

The duration of the scheme is proposed to be from 2022-23 to 2026-27; after which it shall be the responsibility of the States/UTs to continue to maintain the benchmarks achieved by these schools, she added.

More than 20 lakh students are expected to be direct beneficiaries of the scheme. The total cost of the project will be Rs 27,360 crore spread over a period of five years which includes Central share of Rs 18,128 crore.

Earlier, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had urged the Odisha Government to sign the MoU and implement the scheme, under which, Odisha will get 800 schools and Rs 1600 crore.

It seems that the BJD Government is hesitating to implement the Central scheme as it has its own scheme 5T School Transformation Program.

Under this State Sponsored Program massive transformation agenda for schools are being taken by the State Government.

5T School Transformation Program is the Flagship Program, which Department of School & Mass Education is implementing and continuously reviewed by Secretary 5T V K Pandian.

It seems the PM Shri scheme may go in the same way as the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) vs Ayushman Bharat, political pundits feel.