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Agreement for Financial Support to STARS project Signed between MoE, DEA & WB

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Agreement for financial support to STARS projectOn the lines of the Cabinet approval to the Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in Oct 2020, a financial support agreement was signed between Ministry of Education (MoE), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), and World Bank (WB) for the implementation of Rs 5718 crore STARS project on January 29, 2021, .

  • Under the agreement, WB will provide US$ 500 million (approximately Rs. 3700 crore) and the rest will be shared by participating states for a period of 5 years.
  • There are 6 participating states viz. Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha.
  • It should be noted that the WB support will be in the form of a financing instrument called Program for Results (PforR).

About Program for Results (PforR):

To attain sustainable results of specific government programs of any country, WB has initiated PforR financing instrument in 2012. It uses the country’s own institutions and processes for the achievement of results.

  • It is available to all WB member countries and is one of three financing instruments offered by it viz. Investment Project Financing (IPF) and Developsment Policy Financing (DPF).
  • As of September 30, 2020, there are 113 active PforR operations totaling $33.1 billion of Bank financing.

About STARS Project:

It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) under the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), MOE to support the interventions of participating states for improving the quality of education. It is premised on the existing educational structure under Samagra Shiksha with the DoSEL. It will benefit some 250 million students (between the age of 6 and 17) in 1.5 million schools and over 10 million teachers.

  • Its objective is to provide “Education for All”.

It is comprised of the following two components:

National component: It has four sub-components that support efforts to improve overall monitoring and measurement activities in the Indian school education system .

  • At national the project is implemented by the Governing Council headed by Union Minister MoE (Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’) and a Project Approval Board (PAB) headed by Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy (Anita Karwal).
  • It will also support MOE’s efforts to establish a National Assessment Center (PARAKH).
  • It also includes a Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC).

State component: It has five sub-components and will be implemented through the integrated State Implementation Society (SIS) for Samagra Shiksha.

  • Under this, major state level reforms are ensured through a set of disbursement-linked indicators (DLIs).
  • A State Incentive Grant (SIG) will be used to encourage States to meet desired project outcomes. This will be verified by an independent Verification agency (IVA) before disbursement of funds.

Other Features:

–It will be instrumental in the implementation of various recommendations of National Education Policy 2020 i.e. Strengthening Early Childhood Education and Foundational Learning, Improving Learning Assessment System, ICT-enabled approaches in education, Teachers Development and Vocational education etc.

–The STARS project also aims to focus on initiatives of PM e-Vidya, Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission and National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

Recent Related News:

i.On December 2, 2020 Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ constituted a Task Force for preparing a blueprint on imparting Technical Education in Mother Tongue. The Task Force will be headed by Secretary of Higher Education (Amit Khare).

ii.Under the SPARC project of MoE, IIT Kanpur researchers develop a ‘Dambaru’ or ‘Damaru’ inspired lattice, which shows tremendous application in vibration isolation in high speed trains, Stealth submarines and Helicopters rotors.

About Ministry of Education (MoE):

The Ministry of Education was formerly known as the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD).
Minister of State (MoS)– Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre
Headquarters – New Delhi

About World Bank (WB):

Establishment– 1944
President– David Malpass
Headquarters– Washington, DC, United States (US)
Member Countries– 189(including India)