Government Budgets

Budget For The Education Sector


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Economic survey and Budget, Various Schemes

Mains level: Union Budget 2023, Read the attached article


Central Idea

  • The Union Budget 2023 has made nominal increases in the allocation for education, which will not suffice to improve the education sector’s current situation.

Government Expenditure on Education

  • As per the Economic Survey 2023, the combined expenditure on education by the Centre and States (as a percentage of GDP), has remained stagnant at 2.9% during 2019-20 to 2022-23 (BE).
  • As a percentage of total government expenditure, it slid from 10.7% in 2019-20 to 9.5% in 2022-23 (BE), while the share of education in social services nosedived from 42.5% to 35.5% during the same period.

Budgetary allocation for School sector

  • Allocation for School Education increases due to new scheme: The school sector has been allocated ₹68,804.85 crores, as against ₹63,449.37 crore last year, largely due to a fresh allocation of ₹4,000 crore for the PM ScHools for Rising India), or PM-SHRI alone.
  • Existing schools suffer due to allocation for new initiatives: This combined with the newly announced Eklavya model residential schools to be opened in every district of India actually brings down the provisions for already existing schools and their activities, leaving them high and dry to deal with rising prices and the pressure of increasing enrolment in government schools.
  • Majority of Indian students attend government schools: Government and government-aided schools are still where the deprived and have-nots go to. Out of about 15 lakh schools, 10 lakh schools are owned and managed by the government, employing about 97 lakh teachers and catering to over 26 crore students.

Allocation for Higher Education

  • Allocation for higher education has increased: The allocation for higher education has increased from ₹40,828 crore to ₹44,094 crore, with autonomous bodies receiving an average increase of 13.60%. The central universities have benefitted the most with a 22.39% increase.
  • Reduction in Budgetary Support to Indian Institutes of Management: The budgetary support for Indian Institutes of Management has been drastically reduced with most of the allocation meant for loan repayment. The reduction in funding for IIM was expected due to their increased fees. The impact of this on equity in these institutions is uncertain.
  • No provision for HEFA and reduced allocations: There is no provision for Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) in this year’s Budget, which means no new loans for infrastructure development in centrally funded institutions. The allocation for world class universities has also been reduced. The allocation for Prime Minister’s Girls’ hostels has been reduced by half.

Allocation for Research and Innovation Initiatives

  • Reduction in Startup India and Design Innovation Initiatives: The Startup India initiative for higher educational institutions has been reduced and also provisions for the national initiative for design innovation have been reduced.
  • Drastic Reduction in IMPRINT and SPARC Allocations: The allocations for IMPacting Research, INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT) and the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) have also been drastically reduced.
  • No Allocation for IMPRESS: The Budget does not provide any allocation for Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS).
  • National Research Foundation awaits Cabinet Approval: The proposed National Research Foundation has been allotted ₹2,000 crore through the Department of Science and Technology, but this awaits approval from the Union cabinet.


  • In today’s time, everyone wants to benefit and improve their lives. However, not investing enough in education could harm the growth and improvement of education. Unfortunately, the 2023 budget doesn’t offer anything new to make the sector ultimately effective. The education sector needs more investment to improve the quality of education and provide equal opportunities for all students.

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