The Narendra Modi government
has been reducing spending on education
(budget estimates) — it dropped from one per cent of the country’s income in the government’s first Budget in 2014-15 to 0.62 per cent in 2017-18. Its share in the Budget too has been slashed from 6.15 per cent to 3.7 per cent.
The share of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, a national programme for universal elementary education, in the total allocation dropped to 29 per cent in 2017-18 from 31 per cent in 2016-17, which was two per cent less than the previous year, as per an analysis by New Delhi-based think tank Centre for Policy Research (CPR).
Per-student allocation (based on the 2015 enrolment) to the programme increased by 17 per cent in 2016-17 to Rs 6,350 from Rs 5,424 in 2015-16 as enrolment in government schools fell two per cent between 2014 and 2015, the CPR analysis said. The allocation remains below the Human Resource and Development Ministry’s estimate, with the Centre releasing Rs 225 billion in 2016-17 against a demand of Rs 550 billion.
Funds released as the share of approved budget on Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan — an integrated national programme for secondary schools — have decreased from 78 per cent in 2015-16 to 54 per cent in 2016-17 (till December 5, 2017), showed the CPR study. Consequently, expenditure as a proportion of funds available rose from 74 per cent in 2015-16 to 94 per cent in 2016-17 and 78 per cent till November 30, 2017.