Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 14 April 2024 8.06 PM IST

Wisdom that comes late


Kerala's lament that the Centre is neglecting the state by not providing financial assistance is not something new. This has been repeatedly alleged by all the Finance Ministers who have ruled Kerala. The Centre does not provide funds for many projects at once. It will sanction the second instalment once the first phase is completed and the report and estimates are submitted. It is the duty of the responsible officers to complete all these works on time. However, they often don't do this on time. Nobody outside knows this. While submitting the reports, the concerned officers of the Centre will seek clarification on several points. The state will get the next instalment only if it provides answers for all these.

If the state diverts the central assistance received for a particular project, it will not get further assistance from the Centre. The political leaders of the opposite sides are trying to create a smokescreen by portraying all this as politics. At the same time, it cannot be said that there has not been an attempt to not give Kerala the assistance it deserves in some areas. Failure to submit the report to the Centre on time and to complete the projects within the stipulated time led to disruption of Central assistance in most of the cases. Kerala is eligible to receive 700 crores for infrastructure development in the field of higher education etc. However, the Centre withheld this amount as the state decided not to accept the National Education Policy. Kerala Kaumudi had pointed out this through various reports. Finally, Kerala expressed its willingness to change its policy. Kerala has given an affidavit to the Centre stating that it will accept the central education policy and implement it here as well. Had this been done earlier, the higher education sector would have received 700 crores way before. It is now guaranteed that the 700 crores would not be lost as the state is willing to change its policy.

Principal Secretary Ishita Roy has signed and sent the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to Delhi, indicating the state's acceptance of the central education policy. Under this scheme, colleges will receive Rs 5 crore each and universities will receive Rs 100 crore. 60 per cent is the share of the Centre, while 40 per cent is the share of the state. The Centre had not sanctioned the money in the first phase due to the delay in receiving Kerala's MoU. It has assured that a portal for uploading the projects of universities and colleges will be opened soon and that funds will be released in the second phase. 700 crores will be provided under Prime Minister Uchchatar Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for teacher training and research, apart from providing basic facilities. Kerala, MG, Kannur, Calicut and Cusat universities will receive Rs 100 crore each. If the decision had not been delayed due to political reasons, the universities would have received the money earlier.

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