Budget 2019 for Higher Education

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Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs presented the interim budget for 2019-20 and earmarked Rs 93,847.64 crore for the education sector. The allocation this year has seen an increase of 10 percent from last year. The center during the Budget 2018 presentation had allocated Rs 85,010 crore for the sector. Out of the total allocation for 2019-20, Rs 37,461.01 crore has been assigned for higher education, while the rest of the amount, Rs 56,386.63 crore has been allocated for school education.

The center has given a major boost to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) as they have proposed the setting up of ‘Schools of Planning and Architecture’ (SPA). While talking about the same, FM Piyush Goyal proposed the setting up of two new full-fledged SPAs that will be selected on challenge mode. Along with this, he also said an additional 18 SPAs will be established in the IITs and NITs as autonomous schools.

While there is a boost for IITs and NITs in terms of the establishment of SPAs, there has been a decline in the budget outlays for IITs, IIMs, IISER, UGC and AICTE. While the Human Resource Development Ministry has called in for the implementation of 10 pct reservation for the economically weaker sections from the upcoming session onwards along with the increase in seats at varsities for the poor, the Higher Education sector this year has faced a massive loss.

As per the interim budget 2019, the budget outlay for the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as seen a decline of 59.9 per cent from last fiscal’s allocation from Rs 1,036 crore to Rs 415.41 crore. The IITs have also seen a decline in their budget from Rs 6,326 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 6,223.02 crore this year. However, this is not the first time when there has been a cut in the budget outlay for the IITs. The top technical institution saw a cut in the last fiscal from Rs 8,337.21 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 6,326 crore in 2018-19.

Along with these two top higher education institutions, the budget outlay for the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISERs) has also seen a drop from Rs 689 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 660 crore in 2019-20. Apart from these educational Institutions, the statutory and regulatory bodies such as UGC and AICTE have also witnessed a decline. There has been a decrease from Rs 4,722.75 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 4,600.66 in the budget outlay for the University Grants Commission (UGC). On the other hand, the outlay of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has come down to Rs 466 crore this year as compared to Rs 485 in 2018-19.

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