Highlights

  • The budget of Ministry of Human Resource Development remains stagnant at 3.7 percent of the total Union budget in the financial year 2017-18.
  • There is no major announcement for school education. The National Education Mission(NEM) has received an additional allocation of Rs. 1,226 crore from 2016-17(BE), primarily on account of an increase in the SSA budget by Rs. 1,000 crore.
  • Allocation for National Means cum Merit scholarship scheme has increased from Rs. 35 crore in 2016-17 (BE) to Rs. 282 crore in 2017-18 (BE).
  • The Budget for the National Scheme for Incentive to Girl Child for Secondary Education has increased from Rs. 45 crore in 2016-17(BE) to Rs. 320 crore in 2017-18(BE).
  • The budget for ‘Pre Matric Scholarship for SC’ has declined from Rs. 550 crore in 2016-17 (BE) to Rs. 50 crore in 2017-18 (BE).
  • The allocation for RUSA remains unchanged at Rs. 1,300 crore.
  • The allocation for Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana, a major scheme for skill development have witnessed a 60 percent increase between 2016-17(BE) and 2017-18(BE).

In the last year’s budget ‘Education, Skill Development and Job Creation’ was hailed as one of the distinct ‘pillars’ that will transform India. This year, education, skill development and job creation have been presented merely as the proposal for ‘Youth’. The budget does not make any major announcements for the education sector as a whole. Surprisingly, the Budget speech overlooked any discussion on the financing of ‘Right to Education’ and elementary education despite widely shared concerns on low learning levels and scope for much needed improvement.