The Prayas ePathshala

Exams आसान है !

14 May 2024 – The Hindu


Education Sector of India

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) would see significant funding reductions totaling more than 60% in the Interim Budget.
  • The idea put forth by Jacob J. Lew is that our budget is a statement of our beliefs and goals rather than merely a set of numbers.

About UGC:

  • It was established in 1956 as a statutory authority.
  • It is in charge of organising, deciding upon, and upholding higher education standards.
  • It grants recognition to Indian universities and distributes funding to these accredited colleges and universities.

PM-SHRI Programme:

Problems with Education Budget Allocation:

  • The funding for higher education has been lowered from the revised estimate from the previous fiscal year by ₹9,600 crore.
  • Reductions in funding for organisations like the Indian Institutes of Technology and Management have occurred for the second year in a row.
  • The percentage gain in schooling is only 0.73%.
  • The amount allotted to higher education has been cut by 8% under the Interim Budget.
  • It’s going to make things worse financially for students and educational institutions alike.
  • Even if the budget claims to have increased funding for Central universities by 28%
  • It is addressed to the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) rather than the UGC.
  • It will make marginalised people’ already difficult educational situation worse.
  • Their Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) is substantially lower than the 3% national average.
  • According to the All India Survey on Higher Education 2020–21, women, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes registered GERs of 24.9%, 23.1%, and 18.9%, respectively.
  • The fact that over 72% of students are not able to pursue higher education is mostly because of the financial gap that both students and institutions are facing.
  • India’s higher education-level GER is substantially lower than the 38% global average.
  • putting it last among the BRICS countries.
  • The PM-SHRI schools follow the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 guidelines.
  • The increased funding allotment appears to be an attempt to persuade schools in other States and Union Territories to support the NEP programme in its totality notwithstanding their reservations.

HEFA, the Higher Education Financing Agency:

  • Founded as a joint venture by the Ministry of Education and Canara Bank
  • Through the granting of loans, HEFA provides financial assistance for the construction and improvement of educational infrastructure.

Problems with HEFA:

  • It made UGC into merely a statutory and regulatory organisation.
  • It promotes business principles and values that centre on cutting expenses and increasing profits.
  • Colleges and universities will be forced by this to provide more self-financing courses.
  • Students’ financial difficulties will worsen, and these institutions will be more dependent on the generosity of the “charitable” HEFA.
  • Universities are compelled by the government’s shift of financial obligation to public institutions and their students.
  • It shifts the government’s primary focus from pursuing education.
  • Education will be a commodity that can be purchased with debts.
  • Universities will be required to pay it back with internally generated money, which are usually obtained by charging students.
  • It aims to provide all students with inclusive, equitable, and high-quality education by allocating 4-6% of the GDP of the country.
  • As of right now, the allotment represents about 8% of GDP.

Education-related provisions found in the Constitution:

  • Education was transferred from the State to the Concurrent List in 1976 by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution.
  • Article 21A: It states that all children between the ages of six and fourteen have the fundamental right to free and compulsory education.
  • Article 39(f) stipulates that children must be provided with the means and chances to grow up in a healthy way, with freedom and dignity.
  • Article 45: The State shall make every effort to offer free and compulsory education for all children until they reach the age of fourteen within ten years of the adoption of this Constitution.
  • ARTICLE 46: The State shall provide special attention to advancing the economic and educational interests of the most vulnerable groups within society.

The Way Ahead:

  • Strong funding is an essential cornerstone.
  • advancing programmes aimed at closing gaps
  • increase enrolment
  • guarantee retention
  • improve the general standard of education, fostering greater equity and inclusivity.
  • Just 0.7% of schools receive the full 3% of the budget allocated to education, which results in a significant reduction in funding for the remaining schools and leaves them in the dark.
  • The way forward is to distribute budgetary allocations properly.
  • The regulator(s) overseeing higher education must exhibit zero tolerance and move quickly to eradicate any evidence of corruption in the employment, admissions, or testing procedures, or in any other area of university management.

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