NOIDA: Finance Minister Mr. Piyush Goyal, while announcing the Interim budget, allocated Rs. 93,847.64 Crore for education sector reformation in 2019-20. It’s 10% more than the budget allocation for education sector last year. In 2018, then FM Mr. Arun Jaitely had earmarked Rs. 85,010 crore for education in India.
In this interim budget, Rs. 56,386.63 crore has been sanctioned for school-level education and Rs. 37,461.01 crore in the name of higher education in India.
As per the information received from HRD Ministry, Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) funding mechanism enabled government to make available Rs. 17,000 crore. It is expected that this window will made available another Rs. 14,000 crores in this year.
In this way, the number of overall fund allocated for higher education will revise to 69,193.68 crore in 2019-20. The ministry said, likewise the availability of fund for higher education in 2019-20 would be double if compared to previous years.
Also, the government has shown green signal to provide a supplementary equity of Rs. 2,100 crore to HEFA so that this body can mobilize the needed fund for building the high-end infrastructural setup for HEIs.
The budget allocated for IITs is Rs. 6,223 crore. Moreover, HEFA has also given approval for the projects valuing Rs. 12,028 crore for IITs.
“Taking these into account, the fund availability for the IITs has more than doubled for 2019-20 as compared to the previous year. The central universities have been provided Rs. 6,484 crore. The UGC has been allocated another Rs. 4900 crore,” the ministry said.
The research programmes like IMPRESS received a funding of Rs. 130 cr, which is 37% hike as compared to previous year. This budget has also allocated Rs. 2,100 crore for the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), which was 1,400 crore last year.
The HRD ministry increased 70% budget for Unnat Bharat Abhiyan- an initiative by HEIs to adopt 10,000 villages.
One of the important announcements made by Mr. Goyal while presenting the interim budget was increasing the fund allocation for National Education Mission from Rs. 32,334 crore in 2018-19 to Rs. 38,572 crore in 2019-20.
A new scheme was also introduced by FM while presenting the interim budget- the ‘Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE)’. This initiative is all about making a huge investment of Rs. 1 lakh crore in research and research infrastructural setup in HEIs including medical research centres.
For research and innovation, government released Rs. 608.87 crore from its budget bag, which was Rs. 350.23 crore last year.
Establishing two new fully-equipped ‘Schools of Planning and Architecture’ (SPA) was also the major announcement made by Mr. Goyal. More to it, proposal of setting up 18 new SPAs as autonomous bodies was also the part of the declaration.
As per Goyal, technology is going to play a pivotal role in improving the education level in our country and government is also aware of amplifying the digital intensity in education.
Department of Higher Education has constituted a committee to look into the modalities in support of ‘Operation Digital Board’ in all the schools. This committee will also ensure utilizing the technology for imparting the quality education, as per minister.
Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) president Rajib Ray was not very much satisfied with the budget and said the budget allocation is not in-line with the 25% increase in seats which is directed by HRD Ministry to all HEIs and universities across the nation.
He alleged saying that budget was not very much helpful for central universities and UGC.
The HRD Ministry had directed the HEIs and universities across the nation to increase their seat intake around 25% in lieu with the bill passed for the 10% reservation for economically weaker general category students.
Former DUTA president Aditya Narayan Misra commented on the mere 7% hike which is almost as equal as inflation rate. He said this year the allocation to reach Rs. 37,461.01 crore and previous year it was Rs. 35,010 crore.
“This year’s education budget is HEFA-oriented and HEFA will act as the loan disbursement body for 11 major schemes of the department of higher education- this reflects the NDA government’s intentions clearly,” added Misra.
The national convenor of the Right to Education Forum, Ambrish Rai said, “The budget allocation of Rs. 36, 472.40 crore for School Education under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan and Rs. 38,572 crore under the National Education Mission is not at all adequate for the educational reformation at secondary level.