School education has witnessed a decline of 3% during the last 6 years while higher education funding has seen a 28% increase in real terms. The declining amount is worth Rs 39,000 crore according to the budget data of government. The expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) has also showcased a steady decline from 0.53% to 0.45%. Funds which are for the teacher training component are declined by 87% over six years, from Rs 1,158 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 150 crore in 2019-20. This decline indicates the low priority accorded.
Education is the most important part of a human’s life which holds the key to skilling, employability, and, in turn, contribution to the realization of faster growth of GDP. Education remains in the concurrent list, showcasing a role for both union and state governments. The department of education is one of the largest in terms of revenue expenditure at the state level. The budget of the education department includes payment of salaries of the elementary and secondary education teachers.
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (education for all) is revamped by the central government aims to offer universal education to all children between 6 and 14 years. The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) or national middle education mission has combines the secondary education and the teacher training into a new scheme which was named as Samagra Shiksha (holistic education) in April 2018.
Taking into consideration the fact that the increasing demand for both secondary and higher education remains largely unaddressed through public funds. Therefore affordable means, this also leads to the exclusion of girls and others who cannot afford private education.
The education funding via a cess instead of conventional budget funding is apparent in our analysis. A cess is a type of tax on a tax which is calculated as a percentage of tax and is collected and usually meant for a pre-defined purpose, as the cess’ name would showcase.
These cesses are collected as an integral part of direct taxes such as corporation tax, income tax, etc. and indirect taxes such as goods & services tax, or GST. Only a GST-compensation cess is administered and earlier cesses of service tax have been abolished. A social welfare surcharge of 10% has also been introduced by the central government on aggregate import duties from 2018-19.
By: Preeti Narula