The Ministry of Human Resource Development consists of two departments: (i) school education and literacy, and (ii) higher education.  In 2019-20, the Ministry has been allocated Rs 94,854 crore, the sixth highest allocation among all Ministries.  The allocation constitutes 3% of the central government’s estimated expenditure for 2019-20.   This note presents the trends in expenditure, and discusses some of the issues related to the education sector.

The Department of School Education and Literacy under the Ministry is broadly responsible for education imparted between the ages of 6 to 18 years, i.e., school education. 

  • Elementary education is imparted up to class 8 for children between 6-14 years of age. The government is mandated to provide elementary education to all children under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009. 
     
  • Secondary education is imparted between classes 9 to 12 for children between 14-18 years of age.

In 2019-20, this Department has been allocated Rs 56,537 crore, accounting for 60% of the Ministry’s total allocation. 

The Department of Higher Education is responsible for higher and technical education, and training for students above 18 years of age. 

  • Higher education includes undergraduate and postgraduate courses, doctoral degrees, and certificates following the completion of 12 years of schooling or equivalent.

In 2019-20, the Department has been allocated Rs 38,317 crore, accounting for 40% of the Ministry’s total allocation. 

Overview of finances

Budget Estimates 2019-20

The Ministry has been allocated Rs 94,854 crore in 2018-19.  This is a 13.4% increase over the revised estimate of 2018-19.[1] 

Expenditure on education by the centre and the states as a proportion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been around 3% between 2013-14 and 2018-19.[2]  The Draft National Education Policy released in May 2019 proposes 6% of GDP as the minimum expenditure on education.[3] 

Table 1 provides the budget related figures for the Ministry.  For further details on the budgetary allocations, refer to the Annexure.

Table 1: Budget allocations for the MHRD (2019-20) (in Rs crore)

Department

Actuals

2017-18

RE

2018-19

BE

2019-20

% change (RE to BE)

School Education & Literacy

46,600

50,114

56,537

12.8%

Higher Education

33,614

33,512

38,317

14.3%

Total

80,215

83,626

94,854

13.4%

Note: BE – Budget Estimate; RE – Revised Estimates.

Sources: Expenditure Budget, Ministry of Human Resource Development, 2019-20; PRS.

Figure 1 depicts the major heads under which the Ministry spends its funds (as a percentage of its total allocation).  The Department of School Education and Literacy has seen a 12.8% increase in its allocation (Rs 56,537 crore) over the revised estimates of 2018-19 (Rs 50,114 crore).  For the Department of Higher Education, it was a 14.3% increase at Rs 38,317 crore over the revised estimate (Rs 33,512 crore).

Figure 1: Top expenditure heads under the Ministry (2019-20)

Note: Samagra Shiksha subsumes three existing schemes, namely: (i) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, (ii) Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, and (iii) Teacher Education.  The category ‘Others’ includes other schemes and programmes under the Ministry which have an allocation of less than 5% of the total expenditure.

Sources: Expenditure Budget, Vol. 2, Ministry of Human Resource Development, 2019-20; PRS.

Budget speech highlights 2019-20

  • A new National Education Policy will be released.  The new Policy proposes major changes in both school education and higher education. 
  • A National Research Foundation will be established to fund, coordinate, and promote research in the country.  The National Research Foundation will accumulate funds by all ministries and use it to prioritise and avoid duplication of research.
  • A draft legislation for setting up a single regulator for higher education called the Higher Education Commission of India, would be presented in the year ahead.
  • The government will start a programme, ‘Study in India’, that will focus on bringing foreign students to study in Indian higher educational institutions.

Department of School Education and Literacy

In 2019-20, the Department of School Education and Literacy has been allocated Rs 56,537 crore, a 12.8% increase over the revised estimates of 2018-19.1 Figure 2 shows the allocation of the Department of School Education and Literacy over the past 10 years (2009-19).

In the last 10 years, apart from 2019-20, the highest allocation was given in 2014-15 at Rs 55,115 crore.  Note that in 2015-16, the allocation was reduced by 25%.  This may be on account of a greater devolution of funds to the states in pursuance of the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.  The allocation has been on an upward trajectory since then.  Since 2009-10, the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) has been 7%.  CAGR is the annual growth rate over a certain period of time.

Figure 2: Allocation to Department of School Education and Literacy (2009-19) (in Rs crore)

 Note: Revised estimates have been used for 2018-19 and budget estimates for 2019-20.

Sources: Union Budgets, 2009-19 PRS.

Figure 3 provides the major heads of financial allocation under this Department for 2019-20.  Note that, in July 2018, the Ministry of Human Resource Development launched a scheme ‘Samagra Shiksha’, which seeks to provide holistic education from preschool to senior secondary levels.  It subsumes three existing schemes, namely: (i) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (class 1-8), (ii) Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (class 9-12), and (iii) Teacher Education.

In 2019-20, expenditure on centrally sponsored schemes (Samagra Shiksha and Mid-Day Meal Programme in Schools) constitute 83% of the estimated spending of the Department of School Education and Literacy. 

Figure 3: Major allocations for Department of School Education & Literacy (2019-20)

Note:  Autonomous bodies include NCERT, Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas. 

Sources: Expenditure Budget, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Union Budget, 2019-20; PRS.

Table 2 indicates the actual allocation of the Department compared with the budget estimates of that year.  The utilisation in the last three years has been over 99% of the budget estimates as seen in the Table.

Table 2: Comparison of budget estimates and the actual expenditure  (2010-18) (in Rs crore)

Year

Budget estimate

Actuals

Actuals/BE (%)

2010-11

33,214

36,433

110%

2011-12

41,451

40,641

98%

2012-13

48,781

45,631

94%

2013-14

52,701

46,856

89%

2014-15

55,115

45,722

83%

2015-16

42,220

41,800

99%

2016-17

43,554

42,989

99%

2017-18

46,356

46,600

101%

2018-19

50,000

50,114*

100%

Note: BE – Budget Estimate. *Revised Estimate

Sources: Union Budgets, 2015-19; PRS.

Table 3 presents the details of the Department’s allocation in 2019-20.

Table 3: Allocation to the Department of School Education and Literacy in 2019-20 (in Rs crore)

Major Head

2017-18 Actuals

2018-19

RE

2019-20 BE

% change (RE to BE)

 
 

Samagra Shiksha

   

36,322

-

 

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

23,484

26,129

 

-

 

Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan

4,033

4,164

 

-

 

Teachers Training and Adult Education

691

541

125

-76.8%

 

National Programme of Mid-Day Meal in Schools

9,092

9,949

11,000

10.6%

 

Autonomous bodies (such as NCERT)

8,568

8,591

8,290

-3.5%

 

Scholarships

558

556

468

-15.7%

 

Others

174

184

331

79.7%

 

Total

46,600

50,114

56,537

12.8%

 

Note: BE – Budget Estimate; RE – Revised Estimates.

Samagra Shiksha subsumes three existing schemes, namely: (i) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, (ii) Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, and (iii) Teacher Education. 

Sources: Expenditure Budget, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Union Budget 2019-20; PRS.

  • Samagra Shiksha: Samagra Shiksha subsumes three existing schemes, namely: (i) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, (ii) Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, and (iii) Teacher Education.  The scheme has been allocated Rs 36,322 crore for 2019-20.  This amount is for overall school education.
  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA): There exist gaps between demand of the Ministry and the budgetary allocation for SSA under the RTE.[4]  For example, the allocation of Rs 26,129 crore in 2019-20 is against a demand of Rs 37,048 crore.  The Standing Committees have recommended increased funding for the SSA and sufficient allocations for states requiring additional resources.[5],[6]  Note that, there is no allocation for SSA in 2019-20.
  • Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA): It aims to enable universal access to secondary education by 2017 and universal retention by 2020.[7]  It has been recommended that RMSA should be aligned with SSA and ensure 100% transition of every child from the upper primary to secondary stage. [8]   Note that, there is no allocation for RMSA in 2019-20.  Table 4 captures the expenditure for SSA and RMSA.  The amount of funds being spent on elementary education (class 1-8) is significantly higher than the expenditure on secondary education (class 9-12).

Table 4:  Expenditure under SSA and RMSA (in Rs crore)

Year

SSA

RMSA

2014-15

24,123

3,398

2015-16

21,590

3,562

2016-17

21,678

3,699

2017-18

19,319

3,602

2018-19

26,129

4,164

Note:  Numbers for 2018-9 are revised estimates. 

Source:  Report no. 350: “Demands for Grants 2018-19 (Demand No. 57) of the Department of School Education & Literacy”, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, March 2018; PRS.

  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS): Expenditure on Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) increased by about 11% n 2019-20 from the revised estimates of 2018-19.  The MDMS targets children in the same age group as covered by the SSA (6 to 14 years).  In addition to promoting enrolment, retention and attendance by incentivising the children to come to school for meals, the scheme also aims to improve nutritional levels among children.  In 2018-19, about 9.1 crore children were covered under the scheme.[9]
  • Autonomous bodies: Autonomous bodies like the National Council of Educational Research and Training, and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan saw a decrease in their allocation by 3.5% (from the revised estimates of last year) and were allocated Rs 8,290 crore in 2019-20.
  • Scholarships: Scholarships saw a decrease of 15.7% in its allocation in 2019-20.  Scholarships provided by the Ministry include provisions of Rs 6,000 per year to one lakh meritorious students of economically weaker sections.  The aim is to reduce drop-out of students in class eight and encourage them to continue schooling till class 12. 

Issues in school education

Enrolment, transition and dropout rates

Enrolment:  The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is the student enrolment as a proportion of the corresponding eligible age group in a given year.  GER in classes 1-5 reduced from 114% in 2008-09 to 99.2% in 2015-16.[10]  The above-100% enrolment rate in 2008-09 indicates that students enrolled in classes 1-5 included those younger than six or older than 10 years.  In 2015-16, enrolment in classes 1-5 was about 99.2%, which signals a more age appropriate (six to 10 years) class composition (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: GER in school education

Sources:  Education statistics at a glance, Ministry of Human Resource Development, 2018; PRS.

India’s enrolment rate in primary education (class 1-5) is comparable to that of developed countries.  However, it falls behind these countries after class 6 (see Figure 5).

Figure 5:  International comparison of GER (2015) (in %)

 Sources:  Education statistics at a glance, Ministry of Human Resource Development, 2018; PRS.

Between 2008-09 and 2014-15, the proportion of students enrolled in class 1-8 in government schools declined from 71% to 62%, implying an increasing preference for private schools.[11] 

Attendance:  Attendance is the ratio of the number of persons in the official age group attending a particular class-group to the total number persons enrolled in school in that age-group.  The attendance for both boys and girls falls as the level of education rises in school education.  As Figure 6 indicates there is negligible difference between the attendance of boys and girls.

Figure 6: Attendance in school education

Sources:  Key Indicators of Social Consumption in India: Education, NSSO, 2014; PRS.

Transition and dropouts: The dropout rate peaks at the secondary level (class 9-10) at 17% as compared to 4% in elementary school (class 1-8) and 2% in upper secondary school (class 11-12) (see Figure 7).  This is also reflected in the transition rates in school education where the lowest transition rate is at the secondary level (class 10 to 11) at 66%.   Note that a transition rate below 100% indicates that the students are held back or have dropped out of school. 

Figure 7: Dropout rate in school education (2014-15) (%)

Sources:  Education statistics at a glance, Ministry of Human Resource Development, 2016; PRS.

According to NSSO data (2014) on reasons for dropping out (for the age group 5-29 years), the key reasons for females dropping out is to engage in domestic activities (30%), lack of interest in education (16%), and marriage (14%).   On the other hand, the key reasons for males dropping out is to engage in economic activities (31%), lack of interest in education (24%), and financial constraints (24%).11

Till 2019, a child could be expelled or detained until the completion of elementary education (until class 8) due to provisions under the RTE Act.  This might explain the differential trends between the enrolment, dropout, and transition rates for elementary education and secondary education.  However, RTE Act was amended in 2019 to remove the provision related to no- detention to address low learning outcomes.

Note that, the Draft National Education Policy (2019) recommends that the amendments to the RTE Act on continuous and comprehensive evaluation and the no detention policy must be reviewed.  It states that there should be no detention of children till class eight. Instead, schools must ensure that children are achieving age appropriate learning levels.3

Quality of learning

Elementary education:  Over the years, expert committees have made some adverse observations regarding the learning outcomes of children.  The Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE, 2014), National Achievement Survey (2012 and 2017), and the Economic Survey (2016-17) observed declining learning levels in elementary education even after the implementation of the RTE Act.[12],[13],[14],[15]  

As per the National Achievement Survey (2017), the performance of students in 2017 was better than in 2015.  In 2017, on average, Class 5 students obtained 57%  marks in reading comprehension, and 53% in mathematics.14 Whereas, in 2015, on an average, Class 5 students obtained 45% marks in reading comprehension, and 46% in mathematics. [16]

Under the RTE Act, children are enrolled in the class that corresponds to their age, irrespective of their learning levels.  This results in a situation where in the same class, depending on when they are enrolled in school, children may have different learning requirements.  It has been recommended that special training be organised and is of flexible duration to enable the child to be at par with other children and to ensure his integration with the class.[17]   

Secondary education:  In the National Achievement Survey (2015) for class 10, in the English subject, 24% students were in the range of 0-35% score and 61% students were in the range of 36-50% score.  Further, 35% students were in 0-35% scores, and 49% students were in the range of 36-50% scores in Mathematics.[18]

Nature of assessment:  Under the RTE Act, the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) is the evaluation mechanism for elementary education.  CCE (e.g., paper-pencil test, drawing and reading pictures, and expressing orally) does not mean absence of evaluation, but it means an evaluation of a different kind from the traditional system of examinations.  CCE has not been adequately implemented or monitored.12  It has been recommended that proper design of assessment and using this information can help improve the quality and innovation in terms of teaching and learning.[19]  The Draft National Education Policy (2019) noted that the current education system solely focuses on rote learning of facts and procedures. Hence, it recommends that the curriculum load in each subject should be reduced to its essential core content. This would make space for holistic, discussion and analysis-based learning.3

Note that the RTE Act 2009 has been amended state that a regular examination will be held in class 5 and class 8 at the end of every academic year.  If a child fails the exam, he will be given additional instruction, and take a re-examination.  If he fails in the re-examination, the relevant central or state government may decide to allow schools to detain him.  

Other issues

Teachers related issues:  Experts have identified various issues with regard to the role of teachers to address the challenges confronting elementary education.3,[20],17  These include: (i) low teacher accountability and appraisal, (ii) poor quality of the content of teacher-education and changes required in the curriculum of B. Ed and D. Ed courses, (iii) need for continuous in-service teacher training and upgradation of skill set, (iv) inadequate pupil teacher ratio and deployment of teachers for non-educational purposes, (v) teacher vacancies, and (vi) excessive recruitment of contract/para teachers.   

In 2017, nine lakh posts of teachers were vacant in elementary schools.4  Further, more than one lakh teacher posts were vacant in secondary schools.  The draft National Education Policy (2019) recommends that teachers should be deployed with a particular school complex (comprising one secondary school and all the public schools in its neighbourhood) for at least five to seven years.  Further, teachers should not be allowed to participate in any non-teaching activities (such as cooking mid-day meals or participating in vaccination campaigns) during school hours that could affect their teaching capacities.

For teacher training, the Policy recommends that existing B.Ed. programme be replaced by a four-year integrated B.Ed. programme that combines high-quality content, pedagogy, and practical training.  An integrated continuous professional development will also be developed for all subjects. Teachers will be required to complete a minimum of 50 hours of continuous professional development training every year.

The Right to Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act):  Currently, the RTE Act provides for free and compulsory education to all children from the age of six to 14 years. The draft National Education Policy (2019) recommended extending the ambit of the RTE Act to include early childhood education and secondary school education.

School accountability:  In 2014, CABE recommended introducing a performance management system for all teachers, school leaders, and department officials, with performance measures linked with student learning outcomes.12   Such measures of school accountability exist in other countries. For example, in the United States, under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools are required to do annual assessment of learning outcomes in reading and mathematics for students from classes 3 to 8.  If the school fails to achieve minimum test scores then the consequences include removal from service of teachers or the headmaster, school restructuring or closure, and an option for students to transfer to another school.[21]

 

Department of Higher Education

The Department of Higher Education has been allocated Rs 38,317 crore in 2019-20, a 14.3% increase over the revised estimate of 2018-19.   Figure 8 depicts the allocation to the Department of Higher Education since 2008-09.  

Figure 8: Allocation to the Department of Higher Education (2008-19) (in Rs crore)

Note: Revised estimates have been used for 2018-19 and budget estimates for 2019-20.

Sources: Union Budgets, 2006-19; PRS.     

Table 5 indicates the actual allocation of the Department compared to the budget estimates of that year.  The utilisation has been over 95% of the budget estimates in the last three years as seen in the table.  In 2016-17 and 2017-18, it even crossed 100% utilisation.

Table 5: Comparison of budget estimates and the actual expenditure (2010-18) (in Rs crore)

Year

Budget Estimate

Actuals

Actuals/BE (%)

2010-11

16,690

15,472

93%

2011-12

21,912

19,505

89%

2012-13

25,275

20,423

81%

2013-14

26,750

24,465

91%

2014-15

27,656

23,152

84%

2015-16

26,855

25,439

95%

2016-17

28,840

29,026

101%

2017-18

33,330

33,614

101%

2018-19

35,010

    33,512*

96%

Note: BE – Budget Estimate. *Revised Estimate

Sources: Union Budgets, 2010-19 PRS.

Figure 9 provides the major heads of financial allocation under the Department for 2019-20.

Figure 9: Major heads of expenditure for the Department of Higher Education (2019-20)

Sources: Expenditure Budget, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Union Budget, 2019-20; PRS.

  • About 48% of the Department’s expenditure has been allocated to central universities (as grants), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), and statutory and regulatory bodies (University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)) (see Table 6). The allocation to UGC and AICTE at Rs 5,059 crore, saw a 2% decrease over the revised estimate of 2018-19.   Central universities and IITs registered an increase in their allocation over the revised estimates of 2018-19 by 5% and 12% respectively.  In 2019-20, they have been allocated Rs 6,843 crore and Rs 6,410 crore respectively.
  • The bulk of the enrolment in higher education is handled by state universities and their affiliated colleges. However, these state universities receive very small amounts of grants from the Union Budget.  Nearly 65% of the University Grants Commission (UGC) budget is utilised by the central universities and their colleges while state universities and their affiliated colleges get only the remaining 35%.22   The Standing Committee on Human Resource Development has recommended that the mobilisation of funds in state universities should be explored through other means such as endowments, contributions from industry, alumni, etc.[22]

Table 6: Allocation to the Department of Higher Education in 2019-20 (in Rs crore)

Major Heads

2017-18 Actuals

2018-19 RE

2019-20 BE

% change (RE to BE)

Grants to Central Universities

7,286

6,499

6,843

5%

IITs

8,337

5,715

6,410

12%

UGC and AICTE

5,122

5,139

5,059

-2%

NITs

3,452

3,721

3,787

2%

Student Financial Aid

2,218

2,155

2,306

7%

Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA)

250

2,750

2,100

-24%

RUSA

1,203

1,500

2,100

40%

Improvement in salary of teachers

671

469

2,000

326%

IISERs

780

650

899

38%

Research and Innovation

254

244

609

150%

Digital India-e-learning

336

511

579

13%

IIMs

821

372

446

20%

IIITs

271

440

375

-15%

Others

2,614

3,347

4,805

-15%

Grand Total

33,614

33,512

38,317

14%

Sources: Expenditure Budget, Vol. 2, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Union Budget 2019-20; PRS.

  • Student Financial Aid has seen an increase and has been allocated Rs 2,306 crore, a 7% increase over the revised estimates of 2018-19. The allocation on Research and Innovation received an increase by about 150% (over revised estimates) at Rs 609 crore.
  • Expenditure on improvement of salary of university and college teachers has been estimated at Rs 2,000 crore, which is a 326% increase from the revised estimate of 2018-19.
  • The funding allocation for Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) has increased by 40% at Rs 2,100 crore (from the 2018-19 revised estimates). RUSA aims to improve the overall quality of existing state higher educational institutions by ensuring conformity to prescribed norms and standards.  
  • The Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) has been allocated Rs 2,100 crore for 2019-20, a 24% decrease over the revised estimates of 2018-19. HEFA is tasked with the creation of high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions.  All the centrally funded higher educational institutions are eligible for joining as members of the HEFA.[23]  Note that HEFA is jointly promoted by Canara Bank and the Ministry of Human Resource Development with an authorised capital of Rs 10,000 crore.  The HEFA has been tasked to mobilise Rs 1,00,000 crore to meet the infrastructure needs of higher educational institutions by 2022.  So far, the HEFA has approved projects of higher and medical educational institutions amounting to Rs 24,430 crore.[24]
  • Expenditure on education (centre and states) as a proportion of GDP has been around 3 per cent during the period 2014-15 to 2018-19.2 Out of this figure, roughly 1% is spent on higher education in India.  However, there is a lack of data available on private sector spending in this sector.  Comparatively, in terms of public expenditure, USA spends about 1% of its GDP on higher education, Canada spends 1.3%, Chile spends 0.8% and Indonesia spends 0.5%.[25]

Issues in the higher education sector

Enrolment levels

In India, GER in higher education has almost tripled over a period of 15 years, going from 9% in 2002-03 to 26% in 2017-18 (see Figure 10).[26],[27]  

Figure 10: GER in higher education (2010-18)

Sources:  All India Survey on Higher Education, 2017-18; PRS.

A GER of 25.8% implies that 25.8% of people in the target age-group are enrolled in universities.  The GER for higher education in India is fairly low compared to other countries such as the UK and USA, as seen in Figure 11.  The draft National Education Policy (2019) stated that it aims to increase GER to 50% by 2035 from the current level of about 25.8%.3  

Figure 11: International comparison of GER in higher education

Sources:  Education statistics at a glance, Ministry of Human Resource Development, 2018; PRS.

Student enrolment is highest at the UG level (79.2%) followed by PG (11.2%).  The recent AISHE 2017-18 report reveals that the student enrolment decreases as one goes further higher from the undergraduate level of education.27

Regulatory issues in higher education

It has been noted by the National Knowledge Commission and the Committee to Advise on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education (Chair: Prof Yashpal) that the Indian higher education landscape is characterised by a multiplicity of regulatory agencies, with overlapping mandates.28  This reduces the autonomy of higher educational institutions and creates an environment of dependency and centralised decision making.3   Stating that the system is overregulated and under governed, various committees have highlighted the need for an overarching body such as the Independent Regulatory Authority for Higher Education or the National Commission for Higher Education and Research by subsuming the multiple existing regulatory bodies.[28],[29]  Such a body would be responsible for monitoring standards and licensing accreditation bodies.

The Draft National Education Policy (2019) proposed setting up of the National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA).3  This independent authority would replace the existing individual regulators in higher education, including professional and vocational education.  This implies that the role of all professional councils such as AICTE and the Bar Council of India would be limited to setting standards for professional practice. The role of the University Grants Commission (UGC) will be limited to providing grants to higher educational institutions.3

Note that the government released the draft Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill 2018.  It seeks to replace the University Grants Commission and set up a Higher Education Commission.[30]

Quality standards in higher education

There are two accrediting institutions– namely National Board of Accreditation (NBA) established by AICTE and the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) established by UGC.  It has been noted that only 10% of all institutions had been accredited.29  In terms of the quality of universities, out of 323 universities accredited by the NAAC in the most recent cycle, only 23 universities have been given an ‘A+’ grade.[31]

The Standing Committee (2016) noted that accreditation of higher educational institutions needs to be at core of the regulatory arrangement in higher education.  Further, quality assurance agencies should guarantee basic minimum standards of technical education to meet the industry demand for quality manpower.  Credit rating agencies, reputed industry associations, and professional bodies should be encouraged to rate Indian universities and institutions.[32] 

Lack of employable skills

Lack of employable skills in students of technical education has been observed by the Standing Committee (2017) .22  Identification of skill gaps in different sectors and offering courses for enhancing employability in them has been recommended.  Some strategies in this regard can include: (i) Industry Institute Student Training Support, (ii) Industrial Challenge Open Forum, (iii) Long Term Student Industry Placement Scheme, and (iv) Industrial Finishing Schools.22

Private sector and profit motive in higher education

A UGC report in 2012 noted that the distribution of public and private institutions in India is skewed.  This is because enrolment in public universities is largely concentrated in conventional disciplines (arts and sciences) whereas in private institutions, more students are enrolled in market-driven disciplines (engineering, management, etc.).[33] Thus, with a rise in private universities, there is a mismatch of the demand and supply of subject disciplines in the private sector education.

It has been noted that while private investment is high in the disciplines of engineering, medicine and management; majority of enrolment is still taking place in the traditional disciplines like arts.29   Committees have stated that the private sector should not confine itself to the commercially viable sectors such as management, accountancy, medicine, etc., as this leads to the responsibility of the government to maximise enrolment.28

Fee Structure

It has been observed that many private institutions of higher education charge exorbitant fees.  In the absence of well-defined norms, fees charged by such universities have remained high.32  UGC regulates fees for courses offered in deemed universities, to an extent.  They state that the fees charged shall be directly linked to the cost of running the course and the institution shall ensure non-commercialisation of education.  In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that the fees charged by private unaided educational institutes could be regulated.[34]  Also, while banning capitation fee (fees exceeding the tuition fee), it allowed institutes to charge a reasonable surplus.

AICTE had constituted a Committee in 2014 under Justice Srikrishna to recommend the fee to be charged by the private technical educational institutes in the country.[35]  The Committee recommended the maximum tuition and development fee to be charged.

Teacher related issues

According to UGC, out of the total teaching posts of 17,425 in various UGC funded Central Universities, 6,141 (35%) teaching posts are lying vacant.[36]  Further, in 20 Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), out of total sanctioned teaching posts of 1,004, 253 posts are lying vacant;[37] and in 7 IISERs and IISc, Bangalore, the total number of sanctioned teaching posts is 1,117 and 153 are lying vacant.[38]

The Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (2017) reasoned that this could be due to two reasons: (i) young students don’t find the teaching profession attractive; or (ii) the recruitment process is long and involves too many procedural formalities.22  In 2008, the Bhargava Committee observed that the government determined pay of the faculty has been a deterrent in attracting adequate faculty at IIMs.[39] 

The Committee recommended that the recruitment process should start well before a post is vacated.39  In addition, to make the profession of teaching more lucrative, faculty should be encouraged to undertake consultancy projects and be provided financial support for start-ups.  The Standing Committee did not consider that raising the age of faculty to 65 is a desired and permanent measure which will help strengthening the faculty position in central universities.32

 

Annexure

Union Budget, 2019-20

Table 1: Allocations to the Ministry of Human Resource Development for 2019-20 (in Rs crore)

Major Heads

2017-18 Actuals

2018-19 BE

2018-19 RE

% Change RE (2018-19)/Actuals (2017-18)

2019-20 BE

Change between RE 2018-19 and BE 2019-20

Department of School Education and Literacy

46,600

50,000

50,114

7.5%

56,537

12.8%

Scholarships

558

556

556

-0.3%

468

-15.7%

Autonomous bodies

8,568

7,548

8,591

0.3%

8,290

-3.5%

Samagra Shiksha

 

 

 

 

36,322

 

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

23,484

26,129

26,129

11.3%

 

-100.0%

Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan

4,033

4,213

4,164

3.2%

 

-100.0%

Teachers Training and Adult Education

691

871

541

-21.7%

125

-76.8%

National Programme of Mid-Day Meal in Schools

9,092

10,500

9,949

9.4%

11,000

10.6%

Others

174

184

184

5.7%

331

79.7%

Department of Higher Education

33,614

35,010

33,512

-0.3%

38,317

14.3%

Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA)

250

2,750

2,750

1000.0%

2,100

-23.6%

Student Financial Aid

2,218

2,600

2,155

-2.8%

2,306

7.0%

Digital India-e-learning

336

456

511

52.2%

579

13.2%

Research and Innovation

254

350

244

-4.0%

609

149.9%

Statutory and regulatory bodies (UGC and AICTE)

5,122

5,208

5,139

0.3%

5,059

-1.6%

Grants to Central Universities

7,286

6,445

6,499

-10.8%

6,843

5.3%

Indian Institutes of Technology

8,337

6,326

5,715

-31.5%

6,410

12.2%

Indian Institutes of Management

821

1,036

372

-54.7%

446

19.8%

National Institutes of Technology

3,452

3,203

3,721

7.8%

3,787

1.8%

Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISERs)

780

689

650

-16.6%

899

38.3%

Indian Institutes of Information Technology(IIITs)

271

364

440

62.7%

375

-14.9%

Rashtriya Uchhatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)

1,203

1,400

1,500

24.7%

2,100

40.0%

Improvement in Salary Scale of University and College Teachers

671

950

469

-30.0%

2,000

326.3%

Others

2,614

3,233

3,347

28.0%

4,805

43.6%

 Total

80,215

85,010

83,626

4.3%

94,854

13.4%

Sources:  Demand for Grants, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Union Budget, 2019-20; PRS.

Indicators on school and higher education

Table 2: Enrolment in education in 2016-17 (as a percentage of respective population)

State/ UT

GER in Elementary Education

(Classes 1-8)

GER in Secondary Education

(Classes 9-12)

GER in Higher Education

(Beyond class 12)

Primary

Upper Primary

Total Elementary

Secondary

Higher Secondary

Andhra Pradesh

82.8

82.4

82.5

76.3

50.6

30.9

Arunachal Pradesh

106.2

119.9

110.4

85.9

51.6

29.7

Assam

107.4

96.7

103.7

78.6

39.7

18.2

Bihar

98.1

103.9

99.9

76.7

28.8

13.0

Chhattisgarh

97.1

100.8

98.5

87.7

54.5

18.4

Goa

101.3

97.1

99.7

99.3

78.7

28.0

Gujarat

95.0

97.2

95.8

74.5

43.2

20.1

Haryana

93.9

94.4

94.1

86.3

60.8

28.7

Himachal Pradesh

97.9

103.0

99.8

103.9

92.0

37.9

Jammu & Kashmir

77.1

66.2

73.0

61.7

52.9

27.7

Jharkhand

96.6

91.8

95.0

63.5

37.1

18.0

Karnataka

103.7

2.9

99.7

84.4

41.9

27.8

Kerala

95.1

93.6

94.6

99.4

79.4

36.2

Madhya Pradesh

92.1

89.7

91.3

80.2

47.1

21.2

Manipur

120.6

119.3

120.2

86.5

64.4

31.8

Maharashtra

97.5

98.7

97.9

91.7

70.7

31.1

Meghalaya

129.1

128.0

128.8

83.3

40.6

24.7

Mizoram

115.7

127.5

119.3

95.9

54.6

22.9

Nagaland

81.7

90.4

84.4

61.8

36.3

17.8

Odisha

100.2

94.6

98.1

79.9

40.1

22.0

Punjab

99.3

97.7

98.7

87.1

72.2

30.3

Rajasthan

97.8

92.0

95.8

76.6

60.3

21.7

Sikkim

92.0

136.8

106.9

112.0

64.2

37.4

Tamil Nadu

102.0

93.4

98.6

93.9

83.7

48.6

Telangana

98.6

86.9

94.1

81.8

50.6

35.7

Tripura

102.4

126.4

110.0

112.3

41.9

21.2

Uttar Pradesh

87.2

72.7

82.1

67.8

59.0

25.9

Uttarakhand

96.4

86.7

92.7

84.4

77.1

36.3

West Bengal

96.3

96.3

96.3

78.6

50.9

18.7

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

86.9

83.1

85.4

84.1

72.8

21.8

Chandigarh

80.1

95.6

85.8

89.7

83.2

56.4

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

82.9

91.6

86.0

91.2

51.8

9.1

Daman & Diu

84.0

81.1

82.9

73.3

34.6

5.2

Delhi

109.2

129.0

115.9

114.4

74.2

46.3

Lakshadweep

70.0

81.4

79.8

105.7

97.9

7.6

Puducherry

85.6

84.8

85.3

87.5

74.2

45.4

India

95.1

90.7

93.6

79.4

55.4

25.8

Note: Enrolment rate can exceed 100% due to early or late school entrance and grade repetition, or for example, children not in the 6-14 age group still being enrolled in elementary school.  Data for higher education is of 2017.

Sources: Flash Statistics, DISE 2016-17; AISHE 2017-18, Ministry of Human Resource Development; PRS.

Table 3: Pupil Teacher Ratio (2015-16)

State/UT

Pupil Teacher Ratio

Primary

(Classes 1-5)

Upper Primary (Classes 6-8)

Secondary (Classes 9-10)

Higher secondary (Classes 11-12)

Higher (Beyond class 12)

 

Andhra Pradesh

21

16

20

71

13

 

Arunachal Pradesh

12

7

22

37

31

 

Assam

21

13

14

20

22

 

Bihar

36

24

66

59

50

 

Chhattisgarh

20

17

33

27

20

 

Goa

20

16

13

18

15

 

Gujarat

19

13

34

29

25

 

Haryana

20

13

15

15

17

 

Himachal Pradesh

12

10

18

14

19

 

Jammu & Kashmir

9

6

15

29

21

 

Jharkhand

27

19

62

78

48

 

Karnataka

19

13

16

30

13

 

Kerala

18

14

17

21

13

 

Madhya Pradesh

20

18

39

38

21

 

Maharashtra

24

17

23

44

20

 

Manipur

12

8

12

19

19

 

Meghalaya

21

13

12

21

21

 

Mizoram

14

6

9

15

15

 

Nagaland

10

6

15

21

14

 

Odisha

17

14

20

45

20

 

Punjab

18

12

16

26

15

 

Rajasthan

17

10

21

32

24

 

Sikkim

5

5

17

15

12

 

Tamil Nadu

18

15

21

25

13

 

Telangana

23

15

22

47

14

 

Tripura

10

8

28

11

26

 

Uttar Pradesh

39

31

56

97

34

 

Uttarakhand

18

17

16

25

20

 

West Bengal

25

27

39

57

32

 

Andaman & Nicobar Islands 

8

6

14

16

20

 

Chandigarh

13

9

13

28

22

 

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

17

13

30

30

27

 

Daman & Diu

26

14

17

13

16

 

Delhi

24

17

30

21

19

 

Lakshadweep

7

7

7

12

13

 

Puducherry

14

9

11

17

9

 

All India

23

17

27

37

20

 

Sources: Education Statistics at a Glance 2018, Ministry of Human Resource Development; PRS

 

[1] Expenditure Budget, Vol. 2, Union Budget 2019-20, https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/doc/eb/sbe57.pdf; https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/doc/eb/sbe58.pdf.

[2]  Economic Survey, 2018-19, Ministry of Finance, https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/economicsurvey/doc/vol2chapter/echap10_vol2.pdf.

[3]  “Draft National Education Policy”, Ministry of Human Resource Development, May 31, 2019, https://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/Draft_NEP_2019_EN_Revised.pdf .

[4] “Report no. 350: Demands for Grants 2018-19 (Demand No. 57) of the Department of School Education & Literacy”, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, March 2018, https://rajyasabha.nic.in/rsnew/Committee_site/Committee_File/ReportFile/16/98/305_2018_9_15.pdf.

[5]  “Report no. 250: Action Taken Report on 244th Report on Demands for Grants 2012-13”, Department of School Education and Literacy, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, February 26, 2013, http://164.100.47.5/newcommittee/reports/EnglishCommittees/Committee%20on%20HRD/250.pdf.

[6]  “Report no. 285: Action Taken Report on 280th Report on Demands for Grants 2016-17”, Department of School Education and Literacy, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, December 16, 2016, http://164.100.47.5/newcommittee/reports/EnglishCommittees/Committee%20on%20HRD/285.pdf.

[7]  Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, Ministry of Human Resource Development, http://rmsaindia.gov.in/en/component/rmsastates/?view=rmsastates&Itemid=130&id=india

[8]  Fourth Joint Review Mission, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, 2014, http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/upload_document/4th%20JRM%20AM%202014%2008%2023%20FINAL%20_2_.pdf.

[9] Lok Sabha, Unstarred Question No. 1528, Ministry of Human Resource Development, July 1, 2019, http://164.100.24.220/loksabhaquestions/annex/171/AU1528.pdf.

[10] Educational Statistics at a Glance 2018, Ministry of Human Resource Development, https://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/statistics-new/ESAG-2018.pdf.

[11] Key Indicators of Social Consumption in India: Education (2014), NSS (71st Round), http://mail.mospi.gov.in/index.php/catalog/160.

[12]. “Report of CABE Sub Committee on Assessment on implementation of CCE and no detention provision”, 2015, Ministry of Human Resource Development, http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/document-reports/AssmntCCE.pdf.   

[13] A summary of India’s National Achievement Survey, Class VIII, 2012, National Council of Educational Research and Training, http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/upload_document/11-March-National-Summary-Report-NAS-Class-VIII.pdf.

[14] National Achievement Survey 2017, Dashboard, http://nas.schooleduinfo.in/dashboard/nas_ncert#/.

[15]  Economic Survey, 2016-17, http://indiabudget.nic.in/es2016-17/echapter_vol2.pdf.

[16]  “What students of class V know and can do”, National Achievement Survey, Class V (Cycle 4), 2015, http://www.ncert.nic.in/departments/nie/esd/pdf/NAS_Class_V_(Cycle%204)_Summary_Report_National.pdf.

[17] “Report to the People on Education”, 2011-12, Ministry of Human Resource Development, http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/document-reports/RPE_2011-12.pdf.

[18] National Achievement Survey (2015), Class X, National Council of Educational Research and Training, http://www.ncert.nic.in/departments/nie/esd/pdf/NASSummary.pdf.

[19]  World Development Report, 2018, World Bank, http://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2018.

[20] “Implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009”, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, July 21, 2017, http://www.cag.gov.in/content/report-no23-2017-compliance-audit-union-government-implementation-right-children-free-and.

[21]  K-12 Education: Highlights of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service, February 28, 2005, https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824710/m1/1/.

[22] “Report no. 284: Issues and Challenges before the Higher Educational Sector in India”, Standing Committee on on Human Resource Development, December 14, 2016, http://164.100.47.5/newcommittee/reports/EnglishCommittees/Committee%20on%20HRD/284.pdf.

[23] “Cabinet approves establishment of Higher Education Financing Agency for creating capital assets in higher educational institutions”, Press Information Bureau, Cabinet, September 12, 2016.

[24] Lok Sabha, Unstarred Question No. 4262, Ministry of Human Resource Development, January 7, 2019, http://164.100.24.220/loksabhaquestions/annex/16/AU4262.pdf.

[25]  “Education at a glance”, OECD, 2017, https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/education-at-a-glance-2017_eag-2017-en#page182

[26]  All India Survey on Higher Education, 2014-15, Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Department of Higher Education, http://aishe.nic.in/aishe/viewDocument.action?documentId=206.

[27] All India Survey on Higher Education, 2017-18, Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Department of Higher Education, http://aishe.nic.in/aishe/viewDocument.action?documentId=245.

[28]  “ Report of the Committee to Advise on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education”, 2009, http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/document-reports/YPC-Report.pdf.

[29]  “Report to the Nation: 2006-2009”, National Knowledge Commission, March 2009, http://www.aicte-india.org/downloads/nkc.pdf.

[30] The Draft Higher Education Commission (Repeal of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956) Bill, 2018, http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/HE_CoI_India_2018_act.pdf

[31] Accreditation Status, National Accreditation and Assessment Council, http://web5.kar.nic.in/naac_ec/NAAC_accreditlist_pdf.aspx.

[32] Report no. 284: Issues and Challenges before the Higher Educational Sector in India”, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, December 14, 2016, http://164.100.47.5/newcommittee/reports/EnglishCommittees/Committee%20on%20HRD/284.pdf.

[33]  “Inclusive and Qualitative Expansion of Higher Education 2012-17”, University Grants Commission, November 2011, http://www.ugc.ac.in/ugcpdf/740315_12FYP.pdf.

[34]  TMA Pai Foundation vs. State of Karnataka & Ors [(1994)2SCC195].

[35] Report of the National Fee Committee constituted by AICTE, April 17, 2015, AICTE, https://www.aicte-india.org/downloads/Justice%20B.%20N.%20Srikrishna%20Committee%20Report.pdf.

[36] Lok Sabha, Starred Question No. 127, Vacant Faculty Positions in CUs, Ministry of Human Resource Development, February 4, 2019 

[37] Lok Sabha unstarred question No. 1900, Ministry of Human Resource Development, July 2018, http://164.100.24.220/loksabhaquestions/annex/15/AU1900.pdf

[38] Starred question no. 33, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Lok Sabha, February 2, 2018, http://164.100.47.190/loksabhaquestions/annex/14/AS33.pdf.

[39] “Report of IIM Review Committee”, Ministry of Human Resource Development, September 25, 2008, http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/document-reports/bhargava_IIMreview_0.pdf.

 

DISCLAIMER: This document is being furnished to you for your information.  You may choose to reproduce or redistribute this report for non-commercial purposes in part or in full to any other person with due acknowledgement of PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”).  The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author(s).  PRS makes every effort to use reliable and comprehensive information, but PRS does not represent that the contents of the report are accurate or complete.  PRS is an independent, not-for-profit group.  This document has been prepared without regard to the objectives or opinions of those who may receive it.