Former Prime Minister and one of the country’s most admired leaders, Atal Bihari Vajpayee took his last breath on Thursday at All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi. During his tenure as the Prime Minister of India, Vajpayee took some key initiatives in the education sector.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, a dream project by Vajpayee govt
Launched in 2000-2001 by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then NDA government had announced the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ to provide free and compulsory education to children between 6 to 14 years. As per a statement by the Centre released in 2013, the school dropout has declined from 80 lakh in 2009 to 30 lakh in 2012 due to the success of the SSA. The net enrolment ratio at the primary level has also increased to 99.8 per cent since the launch of the scheme.
At present, there is 19.67 crore children enrolled in 14.5 lakh elementary schools in the country with 66.27 lakh teachers at the elementary level, as per SSA official website (data year).
The Vajpayee government formulated the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ on the line of District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) that was taken during 1993-94 to improve the condition of primary education system in the country. Slowly, in several phases, DPEP covered 18 states and 272 districts with 85 per cent of the total expenditure provided by the Central government. The programme was also funded by the World Bank, Department for International Development (DFID) and UNICEF. According to an assessment of DPEP, the programme has covered more than 50 million children by 2001.
SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
- Vajpayee passed the Chandrayan-1 project
On India’s 56th Independence Day, he said, “Our country is now ready to fly high in the field of science. I am pleased to announce that India will send her own spacecraft to the moon by 2008. It is being named Chandrayaan.
- He made India a nuclear weapon state. In 1998, India conducted five nuclear tests in one week
“We have the capacity for a big bomb now. Ours will never be weapons of aggression,” he said.
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