The Union Budget 2015 saw mixed reactions for the budget in the Education sector. While higher education, skill development and jobs have received more importance, we feel, basic issues in the educational sector have been neglected or have seen very less importance.
Here is a quick view on the Union Budget 2015 -16 for the education sector:
- A total of Rs. 68,968 crore has been allotted to the education sector in the Union Budget 2015.
- For the year 2015-2016, the government allocated Rs 26,855 crore to the department of higher education under the human resource development (HRD) ministry compared to Rs 23,700 crore in 2014-15, registering an increase of 13.31 per cent.
- Upgrading over 80,000 secondary schools and add or upgrade 75,000 junior/middle to the senior secondary level. This is a focus towards quality education.
Education Loan Schemes:
- Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram: The schemes at aims providing educational loan for higher education
- Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana: For which Rs.1,500 crore has been set apart. It will be used to enhance the employability of rural youth.
- Atal Innovation Mission (AIM): With an initial fund of Rs.150 crore for research and development and also to promote a network of world-class innovation.
- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA): It has been allocated Rs 100 crore as compared to Rs 93.14 crore last year.
Establishment of new institutions:
- AIIMS in Tamil Nadu & Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Assam, Bihar
- IIT in Karnataka
- ISM to be upgraded into IIT
- IIMs to be set up in Andhra Pradesh & Jammu and Kashmir
- Centre for Film Production and Animation in Arunachal Pradesh
There has been a marginally reduce on the overall allocations towards education.
- About 22% increase towards higher education, this indicated the shift in focus from school to higher education.
- The government has set aside Rs 42,219.5 crore for the department of school education for 2015-16, as compared to Rs 46,805 crore last year.
- Allocations to the school sector was cut by around 10% in its planned outlay from Rs.43,517.9 crore in the last budget to Rs.39,038.5 crore in the year that begins on 1 April.
- The mid-day meal scheme suffered a drastic fund cut from Rs.1,296.5 crore last year to Rs.132 crore this year.
Basic education ignored
Jaitley highlighted the government's vision for the year 2022, which focused on provision of a senior secondary school within every five kilometers of every child and the need for up-gradation of 80,000 secondary schools, as well as making provisions for more schools across the country.
The need for improvement in quality of education as well as learning outcomes was also stressed upon. However, many thought there was little or no mention of how to make education accessible to all at the grass-root level.