The Education Sector Budget

The Union Budget 2023 increased education allocations nominally, but this will not be enough to improve the education sector’s current situation.

Government Education Spending

  • According to the Economic Survey 2023, the combined education expenditure by the Centre and States (as a percentage of GDP) has remained stable at 2.9% from 2019-20 to 2022-23. (BE).
  • It fell from 10.7% of total government expenditure in 2019-20 to 9.5% in 2022-23 (BE), while the share of education in social services fell from 42.5% to 35.5% during the same period.

Budgetary allocation for the education sector

  • The allocation for school education has increased as a result of a new scheme: The school sector has received 68,804.85 crores, up from 63,449.37 crores last year, owing largely to a new allocation of 4,000 crore for the PM ScHools for Rising India), or PM-SHRI alone.
  • Existing schools suffer as a result of funding for new initiatives: This, combined with the recently announced Eklavya model residential schools, which will be opened in every district of India, actually reduces the provisions for existing schools and their activities, leaving them high and dry to deal with rising prices and the pressure of increasing enrolment in government schools.
  • The majority of Indian students attend government schools: Government and government-aided schools continue to be the primary destinations for the poor and underprivileged. The government owns and manages 10 lakh schools out of approximately 15 lakh schools, employing approximately 97 lakh teachers and serving over 26 crore students.

Funding for Higher Education

  • Higher education allocation has increased: Higher education allocation has increased from 40,828 crore to 44,094 crore, with autonomous bodies receiving an average increase of 13.60%. With a 22.39% increase, central universities have benefited the most.
  • Budgetary Support for Indian Institutes of Management Reduced: Budgetary support for Indian Institutes of Management has been significantly reduced, with the majority of the allocation earmarked for loan repayment. The funding cut for IIM was expected due to their increased fees. The impact on equity in these institutions is unknown.
  • There is no provision for the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) in this year’s Budget, which means no new loans for infrastructure development in centrally funded institutions. The budget for world-class universities has also been cut. The budget for Prime Minister’s Girls’ Hostels has been cut in half.
  • Budgetary Support for Research and Innovation Initiatives
  • Initiatives to Reduce Startup India and Design Innovation: The Startup India initiative for higher education institutions has been scaled back, as have provisions for the national design innovation initiative.
  • Allocations for IMPRINT and SPARC have been drastically reduced: The allocations for IMPacting Research, INnovation, and Technology (IMPRINT) and the Scheme for Promoting Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) have also been drastically reduced.
  • There is no funding for IMPRESS: The budget makes no provision for Impactful Policy Research in the Social Sciences (IMPRESS).
  • Cabinet approval is required for the National Research Foundation: The proposed National Research Foundation has been allocated 2,000 crore by the Department of Science and Technology, but the Union cabinet must approve it.

@the end

Everyone nowadays wants to benefit and improve their lives. However, not investing enough in education may jeopardise its growth and improvement. Unfortunately, the budget for 2023 does not include any new initiatives to improve the sector’s overall effectiveness. More investment is needed in the education sector to improve educational quality and provide equal opportunities for all students.

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