Bengaluru: Governor Vajubai Vala on Wednesday defended the state government's decision to introduce English medium in its schools, arguing that in today's competitive environment, it was essential to equip students with adequate skills to excel globally.
Addressing both Houses of the legislature, he said the government was committed to introducing English medium in its schools as it did not want bright minds from the poorer sections of society to be disadvantaged due to their ignorance of the language.
But he assured that the primacy of Kannada would not be compromised and Rs 450 crore had been released for upgrading infrastructure in government schools.
Speaking of the state's financial health, he said it was robust and recalled that it had released Rs 1611 crore to 3.28 lakh farmers upto January 31 this year under the loan waiver scheme.
The government, he said, had not only managed to tackle the drought in 156 taluks of the state, but also maintain a steady investment in infrastructure while complying with all the requirements of the Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act. It had consistently maintained a revenue surplus, keeping fiscal deficit below 3 per cent of GSDP and ensuring total liabilities within 25 per cent of GSDP.
Over 812 lakh man days had been created under the MGNREGS scheme, providing employment to 18.56 lakh families and micro-irrigation systems and rain water harvesting were being promoted to tackle distress due to prolonged and recurring drought conditions.
The Governor revealed that a Special Mission Directorate had been established to accelerate reforms in agricultural practices through initiatives like zero budget natural farming and adopting the Israeli model of irrigation.
As street and small vendors found it difficult to get loans from commercial banks, the government had started a scheme through cooperative banks to provide them loans, he noted.