The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) will provide a Rs. 1,200-crore (£150 million) aid for the second phase of the government’s universal elementary education scheme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.The support will be used to ensure that all children aged 6-14 years are enrolled and they regularly attend primary school. More girls and children from the marginalised social groups will be encouraged to attend school, and efforts made to improve the quality of primary education.The DFID’s support for the first phase of the flagship programme has helped millions of children get into school, raising enrolment to 96 per cent.
The funding is part of the DFID’s new seven-year country plan, which lays down the road map for how the organisation will work with the government to fight poverty, boost child literacy, reduce child under-nutrition and tackle gender discrimination and social exclusion.The DFID would begin a new State development programme in Bihar. It was working in partnership with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to begin its engagement with a governance reform programme in the State. Over the next five years, the U.K. would invest £100 million in urban services and health such as medical care for pregnant women in Bihar.During his visit to India earlier this year, Premier Gordon Brown had said that Britain will spend 825 million pounds in next three years, of which 500 million pounds will be on health and education in the country.