SHIMLA -25th February, 2024-Education Minister Rohit Thakur said that literacy rate of Himachal Pradesh at the time of Independence was around 8% which has risen now to over 88 percent, making Himachal one of the best in the education sector with second highest literacy rate in the country. He said that the rise in the field of education could be attributed to the high standards and excellence of the state's government schools.

He said that Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and our first Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Parmar also received education from state-run government schools, colleges and universities.

The minister was speaking as a chief guest at the launch of 'Mere Shehar Ke 100 Ratan' scholarship by Crack Academy in association with Zee Punjab Haryana Himachal in all 68 constituencies of the state here today. The academy offers coaching for competitive exams like Civil Services, SSC, Railways, Banking and various other exams. It would give scholarship to 100 students per constituency in Himachal Pradesh under the initiative. The scholarship test for students would be held on May 1, 2024.

Terming the launch a noble initiative, he said that the scholarship would greatly benefit such meritorious and talented students who could not afford to pay the fees of coaching institutions.

Sh. Rohit Thakur further stated that the pass outs of government schools of Himachal have had a remarkable career in the top institutions and best of the fields. Students of government schools were offering their services not just in Himachal but also outside the state across India and around the world. He said that it was because of this education structure that the ratio of Indian Administrative Officers from Himachal per capita was one of the best in the state and Himachal is the state with one of the highest per capita income in the country.

He said that Himachal has a good infrastructure in the field of education and it was time to further strengthen and invest in the quality of education to provide world-class opportunities to the students. He said that around 15 lakh students were enrolled in educational institutes of which a substantial 55 percent were in government institutes. The State Government is making efforts to further the enrollment percentage and has launched various schemes and programmes in this regard.

The minister stated that the State Government had launched Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar Vidyarthi Rin (Loan) scheme under which loan upto 20 lakhs is provided to students at an interest rate of one percent for higher education. The government was also building Rajeev Gandhi Government Model Day Boarding Schools in all of 68 assembly constituencies which would be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.

Mayor Shimla Surinder Chauhan, Councilor Umang Banga, Zee Punjab Haryana Himachal Editor Deepak Dhiman, CEO of Crack Academy Neeraj Kansal and other dignitaries were present at the occasion.