Sunday, January 30, 2011

11th Five Year Plan - Plan Versus Actual Spending On Education

In one of my earlier posts, I had pointed out a 5x increase in allocation for education for the 11th five year plan (2007-2012), by the Government of India. This was a welcome change for a sector that had been severely lagging, despite everyone wanting to do something about it. With a progressive education minister, one hoped that things would improve and improve fast. However, while there is definite action, the pace still leaves much to be desired. Many of the bills introduced are still languishing, for a reasons best left unsaid on this blog. Perhaps a telling graphic is the one below, which plots the Planned outlay vs Actual expenditure for the 11th five year plan. The fourth year is coming to an end and has let a huge gap to be filled in the last year.

  1. Of the total plan outlay of  Rs 273 K Crore, only 28% i.e. Rs 87 K Crore was spent in the first 3 year (2007-2010)
  2. Planned expenditure by Central government during FY11 (as per budget) is another Rs 42 K Crore. 
  3. Assuming all of this money is spent as planned, this leaves a gap of 186 K Crore for the 5th year, i.e. in FY12. This amounts to 58% of the total 5 year outlay, is almost one and a half times the spending in the first 4 years and more than four times the Planned expenditure for FY11. 

Government has ambitious plans for increasing reach of education in India.  It is aiming for universal education at the school level and for increasing the gross enrollment ratio to 30% for higher education by 2020 (vs 12% currently). One can already see that they are going to keep pushing these targets back. Many in the government hope that private sector would pick up the slack. However no one in the government is ready to provide clarity on allowing For-Profit Education. Philanthropy, the only legal model of private education currently, alone would not fill the gap.

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