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Raise education aid

WHILE UTTAR Pradesh has to educate 17 per cent of the country?s children, the share of central grant for education in the State comes to only about 10 per cent. It is one of the reasons that progress in the education sector in the State is below the average. The State?s own efforts have also not been equal to meet the financial requirements of the education sector.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2006 01:26 IST

WHILE UTTAR Pradesh has to educate 17 per cent of the country’s children, the share of central grant for education in the State comes to only about 10 per cent. It is one of the reasons that progress in the education sector in the State is below the average. The State’s own efforts have also not been equal to meet the financial requirements of the education sector.

The achievement of the millennium development goal (MDG) in the State will not be possible to achieve unless the allocation for education sector is raised, at least in the same proportion as the State has the responsibility to educate children under various categories — primary, secondary and higher. Due to the liberalisation policy and pressure of downsizing the budget, the axe is falling on education. Even after the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution of India in 1976, which brought education from the State list to the concurrent list, the participation of Centre in funding education at the State level is only marginal.

Keeping this fact in mind, the 12th Finance Commission has recommended rather liberal grants from the Centre to various states. It has projected UP’s requirement for educational grants to be given by the centre for the period 2005-10 as given below: In 2005-6, Rs. 6510 crore, 2006-07, Rs. 7129 crore, 2007-08, Rs 7806 crore, 2008-09 Rs 8547 crore and for 2009-10, Rs 9359 crore.

The ratios of UP’s projected educational grants from the Centre accounts for about 10 per cent of the total educational grants given by the Centre to all states of India. Maharashtra stands to receive the highest allocation in educational grants that comes to 14.8 percent of the total. Under the influence of second-generation economic reforms, the Government of India has adopted a policy of what may be termed as “fiscal conservatism”. Under the Fiscal Reasonability and Budget Management Act that was enacted by the NDA Government and notified by the UPA Government in May 2004, there seems to be little scope for reversal of the contractionary expenditure policy. But in view of the Right to Education Bill, one should only hope that the government will not chain itself by its own legislation and more liberal allocations will be made for education, the lower level of which is a Constitutional right and the higher level remains as public good.