The allocation for Education in this year’s Interim Budget, presented by acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, has gone up by approximately 10.4%, from Rs 85,010 crore in 2018 to Rs 93,848 crore in 2019.
Among the key highlights in his speech, Goyal announced a new National Centre on Artificial Intelligence, a new AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in Haryana, an increase of 20% in the fund allocation for National Education Mission (NEM), and an increased 25% more seats in educational institutes across India ( to meet the 10% reservation quota).
However, decreased funding for HEFA (Higher Education Funding Agency) is a concern for experts, especially from IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and IIMs (Indian Institute of Management).
“Since the government has established HEFA it has asked the central universities, IITs and IIMs to have loans from the agency instead of having grants. The decline for HEFA is by 24 per cent, this would mean that the institutes will have to look for other sources of income”, says Rudra Sensharma, Dean IIT-Kozhikode.
Dean of Economics, Loyolla College, Chennai, B. Bhagwan Das said, “Education sector needs to be atleast 6 per cent of the GDP. There was not much emphasis or mentions on the education budget. After all, spending on education also means an increase in growth. If the government aims at 8 per cent economic growth, it will have to increase the spending on education. India is ranked much lower than its neighbours in the human development index (HDI) which is an indicator of the social sector, especially education, employment etc. Start-ups cannot be an ensured mode of education for educated youth.”
“For almost 40 per cent of India’s population comprising of its children, the budget failed to address the expectations of the nation, as children were neither a part of the budget speech nor were they visible anywhere in the 10 point vision for 2030. Overall budget outlay for children is just 3.25 per cent of the total union budget, with a negligible 0.01 per cent increase since last financial year. In gross terms it records an increase of Rs 9,358 crores, however, it is welcoming that some areas such as the National Nutrition Mission (NNM) has got an increased boost of 410 crores and Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) witnessed an increase of Rs 4,227 crores”, says Pooja Marwaha, CEO at CRY (Child Rights and You).