The Education sector has got a 24 per cent hike in budgetary allocation for the next fiscal at Rs 52,057 crore to take forward ambitious programmes like universalising secondary education and increasing enrolment ratio in higher education. Budget has also given sops to SC and ST students with the announcement of introduction of a scholarship scheme for them at the pre-matric level. “I propose an allocation of Rs 52,057 crore, which is an increase of 24 per cent over the current year,” said the Finance Minister while presenting the Budget. A whopping sum of Rs 21,000 crore will be allocated for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which is 40 per cent higher than the Rs 15,000 crore allocated in 2010-11 Budget. He also said a revised Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Vocationalisation of Secondary Education” will be implemented from 2011-12 to improve the employability of our youth. The Government has already set up a Group of Ministers to recommend a National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework and preparation of a roadmap for its implementation. The GoM will submit its report by July 31, 2011. Finance Minister said that the ambitious National Knowledge Network (NKN) will link 1,500 Institutes of Higher Learning and Research through an optical fibre backbone by 2012. During the current year, 190 institutes will be connected to this network. In a move to help upgrade certain institutes, Mukherjee said Rs 50 crore will be granted each to upcoming centres of Aligarh Muslim University at Murshidabad in West Bengal and Malappuram in Kerala. Rs 100 crore was alloted as one-time grant to Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University at Pookode. He also said that Rs 200 crore will be given as one time grant to IIT, Kharagpur and Rs 20 crore for IIM, Kolkata, to set up its financial research and trading laboratory.