On Saturday an approval was made for introduction of computer education at the secondary and senior secondary levels, in 108,000 government and government-aided schools, up from the existing 53,000, in a bid to bridge the digital divide. Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal told that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), approved a scheme of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in government and government-aided schools during the XIth plan period (2007-12) to cover a total of 1.08 lakh such schools, in a meeting presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It is expected that around 1.5 crore students would benefit from the scheme, which would also help train 10 lakh teachers in computer literacy.
It was also reported that out of a total of INR 6,926.13 crore under the revised scheme INR 6,000 crore will be borne by the centre and the balance by the states in the 75:25 ratio. In North Eastern states, the ration will be 90:10. According to Sibal, the implementation of the scheme 'would help to bridge the digital divide'. Educationally backward blocks and areas would be prioritised with special attention on scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minorities and weaker sections and the disabled.