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Health for all and education for all remain one of the highest priorities of the government, and accordingly, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday proposed to allocate Rs. 37,330 crore to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the Budget 2013-14.
Of this, the new National Health Mission that combines the rural mission and the proposed urban mission will get Rs. 21,239 crore, an increase of 24.3 percent over the Revised Estimate.
Chidambaram also proposed an allocation of Rs 4,727 crore for medical education, training and research.The National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly is being implemented in 100 selected districts of 21 States. Eight regional geriatric centres are being funded for the development of dedicated geriatric departments with a fund of Rs. 150 crore.
Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy are being mainstreamed through the National Health Mission and the Minister proposed to allocate Rs. 1,069 crore to the Department of AYUSH. Amidst thumping of desks Chidambaram announced that the six AIIMS-like institutions have admitted their first batch of students in the academic session that commenced in September 2012 and the hospitals attached to the colleges will be functional in 2013-14. A sum of Rs. 1,650 is being allocated for these institutions.
Chidambaram said that Education is the other high priority of the Government and announced a sum of Rs. 65,867 crore to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, which is an increase of 17 per cent than the previous year.
He said, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) and the Right to Education Act are firmly in place and allocated Rs. 27,258 crore for SSA in 2013-14. The Minister said investment in the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) cannot be postponed any longer and proposed to provide Rs. 3,983 crore for RMSA, which is an increase of 26.6 percent over the Revised Estimate of the current year.
Chidambaram apprised the Members of the Lok Sabha of thousands of scholarships planned for students belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Minorities, and girl children, in 2013-14.
The finance minister proposed to allocate Rs. 5,284 crore to the various Ministries for the purpose, as compared Rs. 4,575 crore in the current year. The Mid-day Meal Scheme will get Rs. 13,215 crore.Chidambaram announced that the reconstruction of the Nalanda University has gathered momentum and the Government is committed to the creation for Nalanda University as a centre of educational excellence.