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Plan Outlay for Education, Health Sector Hiked
The outlay for the education sector for the 12th Plan Period has been finalised at 4,53,728 crore, a jump of around 155 per cent, with focus on setting up of new institues and universities and expanding existing ones.

The outlay finalised by the Planning Commission today for higher education sector is at 1,10,700 crore, an increase of 178 per cent and Rs 3,43,028 crore for school education and literacy, a jump of 149 per cent.

The demand of the HRD Ministry was over Rs 2.60 lakh crore for higher education sector.

However, they said the Plan panel has supported a further increase in the outlay for higher education to Rs 1.66 lakh crore and a further hike of Rs 27,000 crore for school education.

The outlay during the 11th plan period for higher education was Rs 39,804 crore and Rs 1,37,734 crore for school education.

Infrastructure and capacity augmentation would be the prime focus for higher education sector as the government is targetting to take gross enrolment ratio to 20 per cent by 2020.

The funds would be used to set up new institutions and expand the existing ones. On the anvil is setting up of state universities, general degree colleges and professional and technical educational institutions.

The list also includes setting up of universities of Innovation while the Ministry is also planning to cover a minimum of 50 per cent students through various financing schemes as part of demand side management in higher education.

The Planning Commission also finalised an outlay of Rs 3 lakh crore for the Health Sector in the 12th Five Year Plan, a rise of 288 per cent from the last Plan, accounting for 1.95 per cent of the GDP.

Despite a massive hike, the allocation fell short of the Health Ministry's expectation which had sought over Rs 4 lakh crore for the sector from 2012 to 2017.

Earlier, the Health Ministry and National Advisory Council led by Sonia Gandhi had expressed its displeasure after the draft chapter on health indicated total public investment on health to be only 1.58 per cent of GDP as against the suggested 2.5 per cent in the Approach Paper.

Of the total Rs 3,00,018 crore allocated for the health sector during the Plan, the Department of Health and Family Welfare has been allocated Rs 2,80,551 crore, Department of AYUSH Rs 6,044 crore, the Department of Health Research Rs 4,029 crore and the Department of AIDS Control a total of Rs 9,394 crore.

Once implemented, the Health Ministry is likely to unveil many of its ambitious programmes including the universal health care, provision of free medicines to all in public healthcare facilities and expanded National Health Mission, which includes the new National Urban Health Mission for the urban population, besides opening of new health institutions.

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad also raised concerns of the Ministry before the Planning Commission at the meeting.

The Health Ministry also opposed the Panel's proposal to change the system of allocation of funds to states under centrally-sponsored health schemes which it wants to monitor directly instead of the Ministry, Commission sources said.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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