14 August :India signed a Financing Agreement for Second Elementary Education Project (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan II) with the World Bank, here today for a total assistance of US $ 600 million.
The project aims to significantly increase the number of 6-14 year old children, especially from special focus groups, enrolled, regularly attending and completing elementary education and demonstrating basic learning levels. There are two key thrusts of activities financed under the project viz (i) Improving quality with equity; and (ii) Universalizing access and promoting equity.
The Agreement was signed by Shri M. Prasad, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of Government of India and Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, Acting Country Director on behalf of the World Bank.
The World Bank’s efforts to assist with US $ 600 million have been supplemented by two other external development partners, namely, Department for International Development (DFID, UK) and European Commission with US $ 375 million. The total cost of SSA II project is around US $ 10,700 million; so the external development partners are financing about 11% of the project cost. The closing date of the project is 31.3.2010.