Sunday, May 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

IT part of HP school syllabi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, May 26
Himachal Pradesh today became the first state in the region to launch information technology as an elective optional subject at senior secondary schools with the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, inaugurating the scheme at Portmore School here this morning.

Mr Dhumal announced that initially the subject would be introduced in 236 schools in the state within the next two months. The Electronic Corporation of India (ECIL) would impart training in computers to the trainers and students. The Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the ECIL, Mr V.H. Ron, was present on the occasion, besides the Education Minister, Mr I.D. Dhiman, Horticulture Minister, Mr Narender Bragta and Urban Development Minister, Mr Roop Dass Kashyap.

The Chief Minister said information technology had been included in the curriculum in the state and students could take it as a subject in their plus two course. It would be an optional subject in Class IX and Class X.

He said although IT had been introduced in schools in the neighbouring Punjab and Haryana as a subject, but it had not been included in the curriculum. Mr Dhumal said within a few months all 525 senior secondary schools would be provided with infrastructure for IT courses.

Mr Dhumal said the aim of the state government was to make Himachal Pradesh a leading state in information technology and bio-technology.

He said IT was the cheapest and fastest mode of information and had been introduced to give professional touch to education. Mr Dhumal said the state had given added attention to education and was spending Rs 1.03 per capita on education as compared to 68 paise in Kerala, 58 paise in Punjab and 57 paise in Haryana.

He said the budget for this sector had been enhanced from Rs 356 crore in 1997-98 to Rs 922 crore in 2001-2002. He said Rs 7.5 crore was being spent on providing books to 3.50 lakh poor students free of cost during current financial year. As many as 8,000 poor students were being given annual scholarship of Rs 10,000 each in plus one and plus two classes adding that Himachal Pradesh was the first to do so.

The girl students were being given Rs 9,000 scholarship each under the Maharishi Balmiki Scholarship scheme in all classes. For tribal students Rs 11,000 was being given to each under the Thakur Sen Negi Meritorious Scholarship scheme in plus one and plus two.

He said to ensure that teachers volunteered to serve in difficult and tribal areas, semi-furnished accommodation was being provided to them under the Yashwant Gurukul Awas Yojna.

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