Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) scheme in Odisha on Sunday. The initiative aims to enhance the development of thousands of schools across the country. Out of the 97 Central Schools and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, the scheme will be initially rolled out in 63 institutions managed by the Centre within the state.

While the Centre urged all states and Union Territories to sign Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for the scheme's implementation, the Odisha government has yet to do so.

According to Pradhan, the PM SHRI scheme will bring an investment of over Rs 120 crore into the state. For the fiscal year 2023-24, the Centre has allocated Rs 50.8 crore for schools under its administration in Odisha. Notably, Rs 12.7 crore has already been disbursed in the first installment.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the delayed implementation of the PM SHRI scheme in state-run schools, Pradhan emphasised the shared responsibility between the central and state governments for educational development.

He stated, "In the last year, I have written letters to the Chief Minister (Naveen Patnaik) thrice for the implementation of the PM SHRI scheme in Odisha schools. I once again request the CM with folded hands to consider it."

Pradhan highlighted that Odisha receives nearly Rs 4,200 crore annually under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan and PM Poshan schemes. He urged the state government to actively participate in the development of education and students. The PM SHRI scheme, launched on September 7, 2022, seeks to address educational disparities, with Pradhan urging all states to prioritise its implementation for the benefit of schools and students.
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