New Delhi: The Union budget on Monday allocated Rs.72,394 crore to education in the 2016-17 financial year, an increase of around 5% over the 2015-16 estimate.
Of the allocation, the department of school education has been given Rs.43,554 crore. Higher education got a total outlay of Rs.28,840 crore.
In the 2015-16 budget, the finance ministry allocated Rs.42,219.5 crore for the school sector and Rs.26,855 crore for higher education sector.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday also said the government will provide financial help to select private educational institutions and introduce a long-pending education depository scheme for reducing forgeries in the educational credentials of job seekers.
In his budget speech, Jaitley said the government will strive to make 10 private and 10 public institutions become world class. This seems to be a departure from the current practice wherein private institutions, however credible they may be, have no access to government assistance.
India has been faring poorly in various global rankings of educational institutions. Just two of its higher educational institutions figured in the top 200 QS World University Rankings in 2015-16 as against 48 in the US and 30 in the UK.
The academic depository move will help curb educational fraud and help employers verify potential job seekers’ educational qualifications.
As part of the pending move, all education credentials of students from Class X onwards would be digitized and kept in a demat format. If implemented soon after the budget announcement, it will cover 1.4 million schools, 45,000 colleges and 700 universities.
Sushma Paul Berlia, president of Apeejay Stya and Svran Group, a private education provider, said that though there are some good measures in the budget like a thrust to digital literacy and opening new Navodaya Vidyalayas, there is no clarity on 100% utilization of education cess.
“The long-pending demand of 6% GDP outlay for education sector has also not been considered,” said Berlia, who is also the chairperson, National Economic Affairs Council at industry lobby group Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry.