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Relevant for: Developmental Issues | Topic: Education and related issues

NEW DELHI: The Union government on Wednesday approved a 5,718 crore centrally-sponsored scheme to improve education outcomes with World Bank aid in six states and announced that a similar programme will be rolled out in five other states.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar, at a cabinet briefing, said the scheme aims to ensure that learning is based on understanding of a subject. It also said that language learning will be the focus for up to third standard and the way the exams are designed and held will be reformed.

That students achieve proficiency in language and an improvement in secondary school completion rate are among the goals of the scheme.

“There will be separate assessment board or institution that will come into force. The programme is aided by the World Bank. The central government with World Bank aid will give (about) 3,700 crore and (about) 2,000 crore will come from states," said the minister.

The project titled Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) gets a $500 million support from the World Bank. The scheme covers Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha, said Javadekar.

"Similar programme with ADB co-operation will be rolled out in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Assam, and Tamil Nadu. This is an important milestone at the start of the new education policy," the minister said.

It seeks to support states in improving education and better “labour market outcomes."

The STARS programme builds on the long partnership between India and the World Bank, since 1994, for strengthening public school education and to support the country’s goal of providing education for all, Mint had reported on 28 June when the World Bank board had cleared the financial assistance for the scheme.

The Union cabinet also gave an in-principle clearance to the demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant (NSP) from National Minerals Development Corporation (NMDC) Ltd. and its strategic disinvestment. NSP is a three-million-ton-a-year steel plant being set up by NMDC at Nagarnar in Chhattisgarh at a cost of Rs.23,140 crore, as per a government statement.

The cabinet also cleared a plan for enhancing commercial viability of the existing Strategic Petroleum Reserves of Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Ltd.

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