Allocation for HRD Ministry Goes up, But Falls in Terms of Total Budget Share at 3.4%
The FM in her budget speech expressed the government’s determination to transform the education system in India.
New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech on Friday allocated Rs 94,854 crore for the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), which looks after higher and secondary-level education in India.
The FM in her budget speech expressed the government’s determination to transform the education system in India. While proposing the implementation of a new National Educational Policy (NEP), Sitharaman said, “The NEP will be brought in to transform India’s educational system, major changes in higher as well as school system will be brought in.”
“A draft legislation is being prepared for setting up the Higher Education Commission of India,” she added. In order to make India a hub of higher education, she also proposed the 'Study in India' aimed at providing premier education to international students at affordable costs.
Further emphasising on the government’s constant endeavour to improve higher education, she said, “From no single Indian institute in top 200 universities ranking until five years ago, we now have three institutions, including two IITs and IISc, in the top 200 global institutions bracket.”
However, as far as allocation for the education sector is concerned, though there has been an increase in the overall amount, its percentage share in the total Budget is on a decline.
There is an increase of Rs 11,228 crore in allocation for the HRD ministry when compared to the revised budget of 2018-19 (Rs 83,636 crore), but the share in the total Budget was 3.4 per cent.
In 2014-15, the government had allocated Rs 68,875 crore for the HRD ministry, while the ministry received Rs 67,239 crore in 2015-16, Rs 72,016 in 2016-17, and Rs 80,215 in 2017-18. As a share of total budget, this turned out to be 4.3 per cent, 3.75 per cent, 3.64 per cent, 3.74 per cent for 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively.
Simultaneously, the budgetary allocation for the HRD ministry in proportion to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country has also witnessed a decline. While the allocation for the ministry was 0.55 per cent of the GDP in 2014, it is 0.49 per cent of the GDP in the latest Budget.
As compared to 2018-19 (RE) budget, the latest budget sees an increase of Rs 6,423 crore in allocation for school education and a hike of Rs 4,805 crore for higher education. School education and higher education were allotted Rs 56,537 crore and Rs 38,317 crore, respectively.
As part of school education, a total of Rs 471.2 crore has been allocated for central sector schemes/projects which is Rs 85.75 crore less than what was allocated in the previous budget. There has also been a substantial decrease in the fund allocated to the ‘National Scheme for Incentive to Girl Child for Secondary Education’.
The government has set aside Rs 100 crore for the scheme in the latest budget, whereas Rs 256 crore was allocated in 2018-19 (RE). Further, autonomous bodies have also received a cut of Rs 151 crore.
On the other hand, the government has increased funding for ‘National Education Mission’ and 'National Programme of Mid-Day Meal' in schools for which the allocations are Rs 36,447 crore and Rs 11,000 crore, respectively.
In higher education, funding has been increased in the categories of world class institutions, student financial aid, research and Innovation, grants to central universities, deemed universities, Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISERs), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs).
Funding for University Grants Commission (UGC) has also been slashed to Rs 4,601 crore. In the previous Budget, it was allotted Rs 4,687 crore. The National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST) have received a marginal increase in funds at Rs 3,787 crore in the 2019-20 budget. In 2018-19, NITs and IIEST had received Rs 3,721 crore.
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