The Government in Himachal Pradesh has always focused on qualitative and quantitative education in the State. The Government in the State is of the firm belief that no differentiation should prevail amongst children of haves and haves not in educational institutions. A novel initiative, ‘Atal School Uniform scheme’ will be implemented from 2012. This will bring about a degree of uniformity amongst school students and usher in a feeling of equality among them.
The scheme has been named after former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee in recognition of the magnanimous developmental rewards to the State during NDA led Government at the Centre and the special affection he always had for the people of Himachal Pradesh, his second home.
‘Atal School Uniform scheme’ envisages providing school uniforms to all students from class 1st to 10th in the Government Schools twice a year in the month of May and October. This will involve an expenditure of Rs. 60 crore annually.
The State Government is also implementing various other schemes to ensure that student’s especially poor, weaker sections do not face any difficulty in continuing their studies. Under Dr. Ambedkar Medhavi Chattarvriti Yojna, the scholarship at +1 & +2 stage is given to 2000 meritorious students from SC and 2000 students from OBC categories respectively who secure 72% and above marks in their 10th and 10+1 class examination conducted by the H.P. Board of School Education, Dharamshala. The scholarship is given @ Rs. 10,000 per year. Under Swami Vivekanand Utkrisht Chhatervritti Yojna, the scholarship at +1 & +2 stage is given to 4000 meritorious students of General category who secure 77% and above marks in their 10th and 10+1 class examination conducted by the H.P. Board of School Education, Dharamshala. The scholarship is given @ Rs. 10,000 per year. Under Thakur Sen Negi Utkrisht Chhatervritti Yojna, the scholarship at +1 and +2 stage is given to 200 boys and 200 girl students belonging to ST category on merit basis, and meritorious students who secure 72% and above marks in their 10th and 10+1 class examination conducted by the H.P. Board of School Education, Dharamshala. The scholarship is given @ Rs. 11,000 per year. Under Maharishi Balmiki Chattervriti Yojna, the scholarship is given @ Rs. 9000 per annum to girl students belonging to Balmiki families, engaged in unclean occupation, beyond Matric to college level for studies and professional courses at the level of college situated in Himachal Pradesh.
Under Indira Gandhi Utkrisht Chhatervritti Yojna for Post Plus Two students, scholarship is given to the first ten toppers each from the merit list of 10+2 Arts, Science and Commerce stream and the first ten toppers in B.A./B.Sc./B.Com. provided they join any academic/professional stream. The scholarship is given @ Rs. 10,000 per annum per student. Under IRDP Scholarship Scheme, students belonging to IRDP families and studying in 6th to University level are eligible for this scholarship provided they are pursuing their study in Government/Government aided institutions in H.P. Under Protsahan Chhatervriti Yojna, scholarship is given to all category students, where no Government School is situated within the area of five to eight kilometers and the students are studying form the distance of five kilometers and above from their parental home in Government Schools/Government aided schools of Himachal Pradesh. The amount of the scholarship from five to eight kilometers should be given Rs. 200 per month and above eight kilometers Rs. 300 per month.
The State Government is also implementing Mukhyamantri Vidyarthi Swasthya Yojna under which free medical check up of all the students are being done in government schools. 15 lakh students were examined last year and those who needed treatment were given medical treatment. In second phase 10 lakh more students would be medically examined this year. All the students are being administered deworming pills.
Besides a number of schemes implemented to strengthen the present Educational infrastructure, various initiatives have been taken from time to time as a result of which, the dropout rate in schools has considerably declined at the primary level and the State has catapulted to number second position in the field of education in the country. Himachal Pradesh has already achieved 100 % enrolment at Elementary school level and the State has done exceedingly well with regard to access to education.