On 18 June the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led Maharashtra government announced its last additional annual budget for 2019-20 before the state goes in for assembly elections in October this year. The state’s finance minister, Sudhir Mungatiwar had earlier announced the state’s interim budget in February this year before the Lok Sabha elections held in April this year. Of the total estimated expenditure of Rs 4, 04,794 crore, the government set aside Rs 71,302 crore for the state’s education sector. This is a 25 percent hike in budgetary allocation towards education as compared to the Rs 56,854 crore in 2018-19.
While Rs 7,219 crore has been allocated to local bodies for government primary school, Rs 23,147 crore has been set aside for non-government aided secondary schools. Rs 583 crore has been kept for the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan – a fund sharing programme in collaboration with the Union government to provide a holisticpre-nursery to Class 12 school education. Among other announcements made, the government will provide a grant of Rs 150 crore for improving the facilities at Mumbai’s premier art institute, The Sir J J School of Art, Architecture and Applied Arts (estb. 1857). The state’s finance minister also announced plans to set up 3 new government medical colleges at Gondia, Chandrapur and Jalgaon at a cost of Rs 1,522 crore.
According to PRS Legislative Research, a not-for-profit research-based policy and ideas think-tank tracking state government finances and budgetary allocations, the average spending by state governments on human development (HD) including education, health, water supply and sanitation was 23 percent of their budgetsin the years 2011 to 2019. While Maharashtra’s allocation towards human development remained constant at 25 percent, the Delhi government’s allocation towards human development has been the highest at 40 percent.
While Maharashtra has been allocating around 18-19 percent of its budget towards education – this year it spend 19 percent, it is still way below Delhi which spends a good 26 percent of its budget on education. No wonder then, Delhi’s K-12 education system has witnessed several positive reforms (refer to Education World cover story June 2019 issue).Posted in States