Rs 400cr to Create 'World Class' Institutions, More Funds for IITs as India Eyes Role of Education Hub
There has been major increase in flagship programs such as Rashtriya Uchhatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) where budget allocation has been increased by 40 per cent from Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,100 crore.
New Delhi: Jump in fund allocation to higher education, attracting foreign students to India and emphasis on research and innovation were among the key announcements by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget presented on Friday.
Data provided by the Ministry of Human Resource Development shows that apart from an increase in budget allocation, the government is making available extra budgetary resources through Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA).
The total budget allocation for Higher Education is Rs.38, 317 crore (BE 2019-20). This means a 9.4 per cent increase in allocation compared to that of Rs 35, 010 crore for this sector in BE 2018-19. When compared to the actual expenditure of Rs 31,916 crore in 2018-19, this is a 20 per cent increase.
Apart from this, the government has made available Rs 15, 000 crore through extra-budgetary resources using HEFA. The government has provided an additional equity of Rs 2,100 crore to HEFA to enable it to mobilise the required funds for building much-needed infrastructure in higher educational institutions.
The overall fund availability for the higher education sector for 2019-20 is therefore Rs 53,317 crore (Rs 38,317 crore + Rs 15,000 cr through HEFA) in the year 2019-20.
Allocation of Funds
Research-related schemes have seen an increase in allocation, with IITs being given the major chunk. The Indian Institutes of Technology bagged Rs 6,409.95 crore, which is an increase of 12 per cent over the last year. There has been major increase in flagship programs such as Rashtriya Uchhatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) where budget allocation has been increased by 40 per cent from Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,100 crore.
The Central Universities have been provided Rs 6,864.40 crore and UGC has been allocated another Rs 4,950.66 crore. The Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, under which 10,000 villages have been adopted by the higher educational institutions, has got 32% increase in budget allocation for linking educational institutions with society.
An amount of Rs 400 crore has been provided for the 2019-20 to create “World Class Institutions” in the field of education. This has seen more than three times the revised estimates for the previous year from the past estimate of Rs 128.90 crore to Rs 400 crore — a 210% jump.
Study in India
Nirmala Sitharaman also announced the program ‘Study in India’ that will focus on bringing foreign students to study in the country’s higher educational institutions. The proposal is rooted in the idea that “India has historically been a destination for higher knowledge”.
The statement from the government said in continuation of this historical strength, 100 top institutions in the country are identified to admit 30,000 international students every year. “They will get premier education at affordable rates. More than 70,000 students from 190 countries have already applied for admissions for these seats in the current year. With the help of Study in India, we are expecting quantum jump in the number of international students in the country.”
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