Ministry of Education, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), and World Bank have signed an agreement for the financial support worth Rs 5718 crore towards the implementation of the Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project. The total cost of the STARS project is Rs 5718 crore with the financial support of the World Bank amounting to $500 million (approximately Rs 3700 crore) and the rest will be contributed as state share from the participating states, over a period of five years.
Earlier, Union Cabinet had approved the proposal of STARS project. The project will cover six states including Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, and Odisha. The identified states will be supported for various interventions for improving the quality of education.
The project aims at improving the overall monitoring and measurement activities in the Indian school education system through interventions in selected states. STARS will draw on the existing structure under Samagra Shiksha. At the state level, the project will be implemented through the integrated state Implementation Society (SIS) for Samagra Shiksha.
The proposed World Bank support under STARS is primarily in the form of a results-based financing instrument called Program for Results (PforR). This will ensure major reforms at the state-level through a set of disbursement-linked indicators (DLIs).
A State Incentive Grant (SIG) will be used to encourage states to meet desired project outcomes. The SIG matrix has been aligned with the intermediate outcome indicators as per the requirement of the PforR instrument. An independent verification agency (IVA) will verify each result before disbursement of funds.
“STARS project will be instrumental in the implementation of various recommendations of National Education Policy 2020 that is strengthening early childhood education and foundational learning, improving learning assessment system, ICT-enabled approaches in education, teachers development and vocational education etc,” as per the official statement by the ministry.