Narendra Modi all set to decrease Education Budget.

Narendra Modi all set to decrease Education Budget.

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is very likely to cut the college education budget for 2019-20 by Rs 3,000 crore due to a’capital crunch’,” ThePrint has learnt.

Highly-placed sources in the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry — that oversees education — stated the Ministry of Finance had cited lack of funds as the reason behind the proposal.

A sum of Rs 56,536.63 crore was sanctioned to the school education department for 2019-20 year. The capital cut, the resources added, was discussed at a meeting between officials of the finance and HRD ministries two weeks ago.

‘Finance ministry officials stated that they might have to reduce the budget for college instruction by Rs 3,000 crore,”’ said a ministry resource. HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, along with other officials, is now hoping to pursue the finance ministry to extend the complete fund.

‘The (HRD) ministry is pushing them (finance ministry) to discharge the entire amount because the school education department has no other method of generating funds. Higher education department includes things like HEFA (Higher Education Finance Agency) through which they can raise money, but college education (department) does not have any means,’ said the other ministry supply.

When asked about the proposed finance cut, the HRD Ministry’s official spokesperson told ThePrint,’it is not true’. But sources at the ministry told ThePrint a decision in the matter is very likely to be announced next week. An email sent to the official spokesperson of the finance ministry, Rajesh Malhotra, remained unanswered before the time of publishing this document.

Likely to cripple projects

Based on HRD ministry officials, the proposed fund cut is very likely to affect many projects.

‘School education department requires funds to run its various schemes. The Kendriya Vidyalayas want cash, the Navodaya Vidyalayas need money, many teachers haven’t got their wages,’ said the second source mentioned above.

‘If Rs 3,000 crore is cut out of the fund, we are not certain what will suffer, and, therefore, we are asking the finance ministry to give us the full budget,’ the source added. Most of the funds of the college education department are used to conduct central government strategies like Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, which targets’ enhancing school effectiveness measured in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes’.

What budget figures for the past 4 years reveal

Budget for the college education department has been improved by more than 9,000 crore during the previous 3 years — from almost Rs 46,000 crore at 2017-18 to Rs 56,536 crore in 2019-20. In the previous four years, the revised estimates have, nevertheless, remained the same or improved only marginally. The budget estimate is an allocation based on which a ministry is likely to require in a financial year, while the revised estimate is exactly what the ministry ends up spending during that year.

In 2016-17, the budget estimate was Rs 43,554 crore, although the revised estimate was 43,896 crore. Back in 2017-18, the funding estimate was 46,356 crore and the revised quote Rs 47,008 crore, also in 2018-19, the budget estimate was Rs 50,000 crore along with the revised Rs 50,113 crore.

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