India gets INR12 bn British aid for education

The Department for International Development of Britain Wednesday announced aid worth INR 12.6 billion for universalising elementary education in India. The funds will go to India's flagship programme Sarva Sikha Abhiyan (SSA), DFID's permanent secretary Nemat Shafik said while launching their country plan.

'India is making waves as a new global power. But we should not forget the other faces of India. More than 400 million people in India live in extreme poverty and another 500 million who live on between US$1 and US$2 a day,' Shafik said at the residence of British High Commissioner to India.

'I feel strongly that education is the key to a brighter future for India. Our support to SSA will help in getting all girls and boys into schools, helping India and the world, to meet the education millennium development goal target by 2015. And in doing so we will empower today's children to lead India to a future where all participate in its growing prosperity,'she added.

DFID's support will be used to persuade all children aged between 6-14 are enrolled and regularly attend primary schools. There will also be a focus on getting more children from marginalised social groups into education and improving the quality of education.

During his visit to India earlier this year, Premier Gordon Brown had said that Britain will spend 825 million pounds in next three years, of which 500 million pounds will be on health and education in the country.

Commenting on DFID aid, Finance Secretary D Subba Rao said: 'In terms of money, international aid coming to India is very less. But its not money which is important but international aid agencies like DFID are important in improving the condition of people.'

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