Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Education in Budget-2006

The Budget-2006 speech is here. Let me just highlight education-related announcements in it. Let me start, of course, with IISc!

Institutions of Excellence

96. Last year, I made a beginning with an unprecedented grant of Rs.100 crore to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore to help develop it into a world-class institution. I am happy to report that the IISc has obtained approval for an ambitious programme of modernization, and is implementing the same. This year, I must recognize another historical event. Three great Universities have entered their 150th year. These are the University of Calcutta, the University of Mumbai and the University of Madras. I propose to mark the beginning of the 150th year celebrations with a grant of Rs.50 crore to each University for a specified research department or a research programme in that University. On the conclusion of the year, I intend to make another grant of Rs.50 crore to each of them.

97. I propose to make the special grant of Rs.100 crore for an institution of excellence to a distinguished institution, the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, in acknowledgement of its pioneering contribution to the green revolution.

98. If agriculture is an ancient Indian skill, biotechnology is the new frontier that India will conquer. In order to foster research and development in biotechnology, the Ministry of Science and Technology has decided to accord the status of an autonomous National Institute to the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (Universal Primary Education Initiative):

18. Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) has recorded remarkable progress in 2005-06 in terms of new schools, additional class rooms and additional teachers. Two independent surveys show that 93 per cent of the children in the age group 6-14 years are in school, and the number of children not in school has come down to about one crore. Recognizing good performance, I propose to increase the outlay for SSA from Rs.7,156 crore to Rs.10,041 crore in 2006-07. 500,000 additional class rooms will be constructed and 150,000 more teachers will be appointed.

19. In 2006-07, we shall transfer Rs.8,746 crore to the Prarambhik Siksha Kosh from the revenues raised through the education cess.

Mid-day meal scheme

20. 12 crore children are now covered under the Mid-day Meal Scheme, which is the largest school lunch programme in the world. I propose to enhance the allocation from Rs.3,010 crore to Rs.4,813 crore in 2006-07.

National Maritime Academy:

86. [...] The existing National Institute of Port Management, Chennai, has been renamed as the National Maritime Academy, and it is proposed to upgrade it into a Central University under an Act of Parliament. The University will have regional campuses at Mumbai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam.

If you are curious, the budget speech mentions 'education' seven times. Only one of them appear in the above quotes; the others are used in situations such as "paper finds widespread use in education" ...

Update: I should have added this yesterday; the post by Dhi Only One reminded me about this interesting initiative to encourage girls to stay in school:

38. ... I propose to provide a further incentive to the girl child who passes the VIII Standard Examination and enrols in a secondary school. A sum of Rs.3,000 will be deposited in her name, and she would be entitled to withdraw it on reaching 18 years of age.

The first part of the above paragraph also has this initiative for girls:

The initial results of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme launched in 2004 are encouraging. 1,000 new residential schools for girls from SC, ST, OBC and minority communities will be opened in 2006-07. I have provided Rs.128 crore, and I have agreed to provide an additional sum of Rs.172 crore during the year.

In addition, there is an initiative to help minority students:

37. Merit-cum-means based scholarships encourage students to pursue higher studies. Government will finance 20,000 such scholarships to students belonging to the minority communities. Once the scheme is finalized in 2006-07, I intend to allocate the necessary funds.


  1. Anonymous said...

    interesting. and a nice compilation. I wonder if they have plans in the budget for secondary education. Most students drop out when the school cannot sustain the meals programs and also when the children achieve an age suitable for assisting parents in their occupation. they got to break this cycle if they want these children to enter their universities, now don't they?

    I recently read ET editorial on the same. no mentions about any secondary school education programme.

  2. Abi said...

    I listened to the budget speech (see the link in the post), and it is clear that the emphasis is to get all children in the 6-14 age group in school. The funds for SSA, the UPA government's flagship program for universal and compulsory primary education has received a big jump in allocation, and so has the mid-day meal program.

    An emphasis on secondary education (though it *has* received some increase in allocation) will come only when the government can claim a BIG success in primary education.

    And I do think that that's the way it ought to be.