ISLAMABAD - The federal government increased the higher education allocations around Rs5billion by allocating a total of Rs63.068b for the development of higher education sector for the new fiscal year against Rs57.4b allocated last year.

This allocation for Higher Education Commission (HEC) includes Rs20.068b for the proposed Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2014-15, against Rs18.4b allocated last year. Out of what, a sum of Rs16793.926m has been earmarked for various on-going projects while Rs3275m have been pledged for the new projects.

As the major chunk of the HEC budget goes to non-development expenditures, Rs43b have been reserved for recurring expenditures of the HEC and universities working under its control against Rs39b allocated last year.

The PSDP includes a project of awarding 400 scholarships to students from Indian Occupied Kashmir in the field of medicine, engineering and information technology for which Rs45m earmarked. Rs700m have been allocated for indigenous PhD fellowship for 5000 scholars.

Among 31 new development schemes, Rs50m will go to the development of Fatima Jinnah Women University Campus-II, Chakri Road Rawalpindi, Rs200m to the development of new campus of Government College University Lahore at Kala Shah Kaku, Rs15m for expansion of University of Balochistan, Quetta and its campuses and Rs200m for Prime Minister’s Programme for Development of PhDs in Science and Technology.

The Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education, under which the HEC works, has been allocated Rs3451.256m for 14 development schemes.

The government has approved an amount of Rs50m for mainstreaming of seminaries under the PSDP. The ministry has been allocated Rs1329.806m for the establishment and operation of Basic Education Community Schools across the country including Azad Jammu and Kashmir, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan. And about Rs.1442.250 have been pledged for improving human development indicators in Pakistan with focus on Millennium Development Goals relating to education. And Rs.50 million will go to the National Curriculum Council that is yet to be established.