What you are not seeing here is that this is probably a better investment than direct investment in schools. Projects like these open up more employment opportunities for those involved in fundamental science and research, which in turn motivates more people to choose that line of study and work. It also retains people who are genuinely skilled in these fields from migrating over to higher paid fields like applied engineering and IT.
Overall, in a country of contradictions like India, it is highly neccessary to sustain and encourage research and development efforts. The people are directly motivated to identify offshoots of their research which can better the lives of people they identify with. I think it is a big folly to focus all your resources on primary education without providing a direction for those benefitting from it. You need the ability to build aspirations within people and out of such efforts come stories that are a lot more valuable than the investment itself.
This is not a first time for India. For over fifty years, India has made large investments in building research instutions which has in turn spurred its populace to acquire the skills to staff these positions. For a country that in 1948 had not a single heavy industry or any technonology or manufacturing ability, it has done rather well to have churned out the huge engineering force from the 80s onwards building a domestic industrial and technological base which is quite enviable when compared to other countries of India's age and background.
Enrollment in education cannot be increased by direct investment or force, it has to be voluntary. And for that, people have to be able to see gainful employment and social status at the end of the road and efforts like this provide that.