'State govt's budget allocation to education sank'

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Hyderabad, Mar 2: Minister of State for HRD D Purandeshwari expressed his concern over dipping budgetary allocation of state governments towards education. He claimed that this imbalance in expenditure is proving to be a major hindrance in achieving the total provision target of six per cent of the GDP, in this sector.

"Until some time ago, the allocations made by the Central and state governments stood at 80 and 20 per cent respectively. We see in the recent years the allocation from the Central government has been going up. On the other hand, unfortunately the allocation made by the state governments towards education has declined," Purandeswari said.

She said the Ministry would appeal to the state governments that even if they can not increase the allocation, they atleast retain the same levels to strike the balance to achieve the six per cent GDP goal.

Currently, the budgetary allocations for education are pegged at 3.8 per cent of the GDP. In the 2011-12 Union Budget Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee allocated Rs 52,057 crore for education (which constitutes a little over one percent of the GDP), up 24 per cent over previous year.

Speaking on Higher Education, Purandeswari said though the number of IITs IIMs and IIITs have increased, some of them are partly running in temporary locations.

Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had earlier said that eight new IITs that were permitted to come up in 2008 in various states do not have the necessary infrastructure and are not up to the mark making it difficult for the country's premier institutions to retain talented faculty.

Sibal had blamed the state governments for not allotting required land for setting up permanent campuses for these institutes.

Replying to a question, Purandeswari said they are in constant touch with the state governments on this issue.

"There are some issues to be sorted out. In case of Shillong IIM, it is a problem with the terrain. We have called for tenders for construction work," Purandeswari told PTI.

On the issue of teacher training, she said there is a need to revisit the entire curriculum to ensure quality education to children.

"Right to education also emphasises on qualifications that the teachers need to have. So there is huge revamping that is happening in Board schools- Elementary and Secondary Education- and in the teacher educational programs as well," the minister said.

Giving statistics, the minister informed that the country had 50 universities and 500 institutions in 1950 and today it has grown to 500 universities and has close to 25000 institutions.

"We have gross enrollment of 12.5 per cent in higher educational institutions according to 2001 census. It was less than one per cent in 1950. Today we 500,000 teaching faculty and the same was just 15,000 in 1950s," she said.

PTI

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