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Budget 2018: Increase education expenditure to 6% of GDP

As against Brazil that spends 5.99 per cent of its GDP in education (2013-14) and South Africa's 6.03 per cent (2013-14), India's expenditure on education was just 4.13 per cent in 2013-14.

Tulsi Jayakumar   New Delhi     Last Updated: January 17, 2018  | 13:57 IST
Budget 2018: Increase education expenditure to 6% of GDP

One look at the expenditure on education as a percentage of the GDP and it is clear on the distance India has to cover. The country today fares lower than some of its BRICS peers. As against Brazil that spends 5.99 per cent of its GDP in education (2013-14) and South Africa's 6.03 per cent (2013-14), India's expenditure on education was just 4.13 per cent in 2013-14. India should push the education expenditure to at least 6 per cent of its GDP.

Within primary education, the success of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan with 100 per cent enrolment only means that the focus should now shift towards enhancing teaching-learning outcomes. This can be achieved through greater budgetary allocations on assessment of the educational sector.

Within secondary education, strengthening of the RMSA (Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan) is required, so as to minimise school dropout rates at the secondary level.

Budgetary support for humanities and social sciences, as also for vocational training institutes needs to be enhanced at the level of higher education. Also, currently, all expenditure on leading technical institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and management schools such as the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) are by way of revenue expenditure, which typically is around meeting immediate short-term recurring funding needs.

The component of capital expenditure such as for asset building, infrastructure support and on say research funding has to be introduced and enhanced over time.

By Tulsi Jayakumar, Professor, Economics and Program Head, PGP-Family Managed Business, S P Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR).

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