Monday, July 06, 2009

Budget highlights for higher education

The budget for higher education has gone up by a whopping 36 percent. Take a look at this summary (taken from Expenditure by Ministry/Department, which is a part of Expenditures - Vol. 1; all the budget-related documents are here; all the figures are in crores (10 millions) or rupees:

  2007-08   2008-09 (RE)   2009-10 (BE)  
Total 6242.25 11340.00 15429.00
Plan 3127.50 6800.00 9596.00
Non-Plan   3114.75 4540.00 5833.00

[Keywords: RE stands for revised estimate, and is the best guess from the government about how much it spent in the previous year. BE is the intended allocation for this year. "Plan" stands for buildings, equipment, infrastructure, etc. "Non-Plan" stands for recurring, routine expenses -- salaries, maintenance, etc.]

As you can see, the allocation increased at a higher rate on Plan side (41 %) than on the Non-Plan side (28 %).

The details are also important; so, let's look at them (for which you have to go to Expenditures - Volume 2, and get the document for the Department of Higher Education):

  1. Of the 15,000 crores, UGC gets the biggest slice nearly 47 percent, or 7366.65 crores (up 34 % from 2008-RE).

  2. The next biggest slice -- nearly 35 % -- goes to Technical Education, which provides funding for the IITs, IIMs, NITs, IISc, etc.

  3. The IITs appear to suffer a 5% decrease in allocation of 1605 crores in 2009, from 1685 crores in 2008. If you look at the details, the Plan side actually gets a whopping 23 % cut (685 crores in 2009, against 894 crores in 2008). This is worth exploring a bit more; my initial guess is that last year's allocation for the IITs included a sum for the new IITs, which probably went unspent.

  4. NITs get 1299.90 crores, as against 1159 crores last year -- an increase of 12 %.

  5. Some 400 crores is set aside for the setting up of new IITs. Similarly, a sum of Rs. 20 crores will go towards the setting up of new NITs.

  6. IISc's allocation goes up from 209 crores to 224 crores -- an increase of just 7%. The Plan side stays constant at 75 crores.

  7. IISERs get 215 crores against 175 crores last year -- up 22 %.

  8. IIMs get 120 crores, up 8 % from last year's 111 crores.

Finally, there's a provision for Rs. 810 crores (it was 368 crores last year, and 451 crores in 2007-08) for something called the National Mission for Education through Information and Communication Technology. All of it comes under Plan expenditure. I wonder what it does -- 810 crores is a lot of money! All I could find about this mission is a bunch of documents and web pages on the Sakshat website.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Information sciences, technology and infrastructure as opposed to Computer Science/Mathematics with some overlap between the two offers some interesting potential for the National Mission for Education through Information and Communication technology. Something like a dedicated effort dealing with Educational Technologies and Advanced computing in Education and Research like the NSF's CISE program.

  2. pradeepkumar pi said...

    Its interesting to note that a small and "Super specialized" institution such as Indian Institute of Space Technology gets 175 crores budget allocation.