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Budget 2024: UGC faces decline in funds, school education takes centerstage

This year, the University Grants Commission (UGC) saw a reduction in funding by over 60 per cent while the allocation for Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) has been slashed for the second consecutive year. The budget for school education has been increased by over Rs. 500 crore.

Edited By: Nidhi Mittal @nidhi_mittal09 New Delhi Published on: February 01, 2024 18:58 IST
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Image Source : PTI Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

In the interim budget 2024-25, the funding for school education has been increased by over Rs. 500 crore but the grant for higher education has been reduced by over Rs. 9600 crore from the previous fiscal year's revised estimate. Comparing the previous year's revised estimate, the funding for UGC has been brought down to Rs. 2500 crore, which is a drop of 60.99 per cent.

IIMs saw a decline of 60 per cent for the second consecutive year

This year, the University Grants Commission (UGC) saw a reduction in funding; the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), which are among the most prestigious business schools in the nation, saw their funding cut for the second year in a row, and the Center reduced its award by more than 60%. The IIMs' budget was cut last year, going from Rs 608.23 crore (RE) to Rs 300 crore.

IITs face a marginal dip

This year, the budget has been brought down further to Rs 212.21 crore from the Revised Estimate of Rs 331 crore. The budget for Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) has also seen a marginal dip from the RE last year. The grant to the top technology institutions has dropped from RE of Rs 10,384.21 crore to Rs 10324.50. However, the support grant for Central Universities has increased by over 28 per cent.

Budget for Central Universities increased

The budget for Central Universities has been increased to Rs 15472 crore from RE of Rs 12000.08 crore. 

School Education Budget Increased

This year, the budget for school education has increased from Rs 72473.80 crore (RE) to Rs 73008.10 crore. However, the budget for higher education has dropped from Rs 57244.48 crore (RE) to Rs 47619.77 crore. In school education, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Navodaya Vidyalayas, NCERT, PM Shri schools, and Grants-in-aid to state governments and governments of Union Territories have seen a rise in the budget allocation. 

While Presenting the interim budget, Sitharaman stated that a large number of new institutions of higher learning, namely seven IITs, 16 IIITs, seven IIMs, 15 AIIMS, and 390 universities have been set up since 2014 while 3000 new ITIs have been established. 

"Our prosperity depends on adequately equipping and empowering the youth. The National Education Policy 2020 is ushering in transformational reforms. PM Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) are delivering quality teaching and nurturing holistic and well-rounded individuals," the finance minister said.

"The Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youth, upskilled and reskilled 54 lakh youth and established 3000 new ITIs. A large number of new institutions of higher learning, namely 7 IITs, 16 IIITs, 7 IIMs, 15 AIIMS and 390 universities have been set up," she added.

(With PTI inputs)

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