The Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday allocated Rs 50 crore to enable free data services for students of universities and degree colleges across the state while presenting its first budget.
The state finance minister Rajesh Agarwal presented a Rs 3.84 lakh crore budget, which provides Rs 36,000 crore for waiver of crop loan for farmers, in the assembly.
The first budget of the Adityanath government, which has a deficit of Rs 7469 crore, also provides Rs 55,781 crore for new schemes with some named after the RSS ideologues and for the promotion of religious and cultural tourism etc.
According to sources, the wifi services would be available to students from the current academic session. The government has tied up with a private operator that has agreed to provide free services to the students.
Officials said it will bring a revolution in higher education. They added it will not be difficult for the state government to move towards the concept of digitalisation at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is ruling both at the Centre and in the state.
Initially, the services will be made available to students of state-run universities and government funded colleges.
“The decision will help student free access to the internet and help them in their research work. A lot of study and research materials are available online for the students,” Lucknow University spokesperson NK Pandey said.
The government granted funds to universities and colleges to develop infrastructure and opening new schools and colleges and create research chairs across the state.
A sum of Rs 9 crore was allocated to establish a chair in all state universities to mark the birth centenary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay. The nearly century-old Lucknow University was given an additional grant of Rs 2 crore for establishing a research chair in the name of Bhaurao Devras.
The state government has made a budgetary provision of Rs 15 crore for completing under construction rooms. Another Rs 5 crore was allocated for Jannayak Chandrashekhar State University in Balia. The government has also sanctioned Rs 27 crore for the completion of new government engineering colleges in Sonbhadra, Kannauj and Mainpuri.
It also made an allocation of Rs 50 lakh for the developing a software for online affiliation of new colleges and universities.
A sum of Rs 25 crore was allocated for making 166 Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay Government Modern Schools for promoting secondary education. The state government has also allocated Rs 551.94 crore for Rashtriya Madhyamik Sikshak Sangh and additional Rs 2.54 crore for distribution of midday meal in primary and upper primary schools.