Andhra Pradesh

We aim at 100% graduation rate, besides total literacy: CM

VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has said the government is aiming not only for 100% literacy in the State but also for 100% graduation rate and the Jagananna Vidya Deevena Scheme (total fee reimbursement) is the first step to achieve the target. Speaking after releasing Rs 686 crore as the third tranche of Vidya Deevena, benefiting 11.03 lakh students, on Tuesday, he opined that only education can eliminate poverty and empower people.

The sum was directly credited into bank accounts of 9,87,965 mothers of Vidya Deevena beneficiaries. The government has spent Rs 6,259 crore for implementing the total fee reimbursement scheme since 2019, including Rs 1,778 crore pending dues of the previous regime, benefiting a total of 21,48,477 students.

Highlighting the scheme, Jagan said, “One’s fate can be changed only with education. We want to see doctors, engineers and other professionals emerge from all sections of society, so poverty gets eliminated. With this very objective, my father YS Rajasekhara Reddy introduced the scheme, but the subsequent governments diluted it. We revived it after coming to power.”

Deploring the neglect of the scheme by previous governments, he asked, “If dues are not paid to colleges in time, how can one expect them to pay staff salaries and improve infrastructure?”

“How can we question the quality of education? Naturally, the college managements stopped students who failed to clear fee dues from writing exams, which resulted in some students resorting to extreme measures,” he said.

Jagan recalled an incident during his Praja Sankalpa Yatra in Nellore, where parents of a student who died by suicide, approached him explaining that the pressure for clearance of dues forced their son to take the extreme step. “It moved me and I decided to ensure that no such incident recurs. Soon after forming the government, we revived the scheme,” he explained.

The Chief Minister urged Vidya Deevena beneficiaries to pay the fee within 7-10 days without fail and stated that the government shall directly transfer the fee reimbursement amount to the college managements if beneficiaries fail to make payments on time. If any problem arises with the college management or with Vidya Deevena, beneficiaries can contact the authorities on toll-free No 1902, he advised.

The government has also taken steps to support merit students, who secured admission in private universities. In all, 2,118 students of private universities are now availing the total fee reimbursement benefit under Vidya Deevena.

The All India Survey on Higher Education revealed that the Gross Enrolment Ratio of students in the age group of 17-23 years in colleges increased to 35.2% in AP, registering a growth of 8.6% against the national growth of 3.04%. The GER of SCs, STs and girls in AP increased by 7.5%, 9.5% and 11.03% respectively as against national growth of 1.7%, 4.5% and 2.27%, he revealed.

Rs 686 crore released

A sum of Rs 686 crore was released as the third tranche of the Jagananna Vidya Deevena scheme, benefiting 11.03 lakh students in the State

GER rises to 35.2%

The All India Survey on Higher Education revealed that the GER of students in 17-23 age group in colleges rose to 35.2% in AP