Himachal Pradesh Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur emphasized on implementing National Education Policy-2020 during the review meeting of Higher Education Department here on Monday.

Thakur said that Himachal Pradesh has always done an excellent work in the field of education and will do its best in the country in implementing the National Education Policy- 2020.

There is continuous progress in the state in the field of higher education. There are 1872 Government Senior Secondary Schools, 929 Government Higher Secondary Schools, 1511 Private Senior Secondary and Higher Schools, 129 Government Degree Colleges, four Government B.Ed. College, 71 Private B.Ed. college, 54 private colleges and 17 private universities in Himachal Pradesh.

The state has also been given the award for Best Performing in Education-2019 and National Skoch Award of Merit for Quality Education in 2019.

The Education Minister said that during the tenure of the present government, a total of 348597 students have enrolled in colleges of the state.

In the year 2018-19, the gross enrolment ratio at the secondary level (10th) in the state was 107.74 percent while at the higher secondary level (12th) the ratio was 85 percent.

The student-teacher ratio at the secondary level in the year 2018-19 in the state was 13.9 percent while at the senior secondary level this ratio was 10.49 percent.

The department has spent Rs. 2962.60 crore in the year 2019-20 and a budget provision of Rs. 3671.95 crore has been made for the year 2020- 21.

As many as 1171 construction works allotted by the department in the state have been completed while 314 works are under progress.

Thakur said that Rs 92 crore has been sanctioned by the Central Government under the National Higher Education Campaign-2 (RUSA) in the state.

He said that Rs 55 crore have been sanctioned for Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Cluster University Mandi in the state. Facilities like gym, amphitheatre, solar power plant, instruments, science, language, IT laboratories, libraries etc. are being provided in various colleges under RUSA.

Under the Global Investors Meet-2019, the Education Department has signed 45 MoUs for investment of Rs. 1468 crore in the state, out of which work on nine projects with investment of Rs 344.50 crore has been started.

Secretary Education Rajiv Sharma informed that in the year 2018-19, Rs 8.80 crore was spent on 25249 students under various centrally sponsored scholarship schemes, while Rs. 12.21 crore was spent on 38312 students under various state sponsored scholarship schemes.

In the year 2019-20, free course books were distributed to 1,03,134 students, on which Rs. 11.89 crore was spent. Free uniform was distributed to 1,59,509 students in the year 2019-20 under the Atal School Uniform Scheme by spending Rs. 13.05 crore.

In the year 2019-20, Rs 2.33 crore were released for the activities of the National Service Scheme (NSS). Director Higher Education Dr Amarjeet Sharma said that B. Vocational degree courses were being conducted in 12 colleges of the state, with the objective to provide employment oriented education to the students.

Besides this, students are also being made aware of important issues such as drug prevention, road safety, disaster management etc. Special Secretary Education Rakhi Kahlon and other senior officers of the department were also present on the occasion.