ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Jandhyala B G TilakSubscribe to Jandhyala B G Tilak

The Kothari Commission and Financing of Education

The Education Commission (1964-66) chaired by D S Kothari made a valuable set of recommendations on financing education in India, many of which are still relevant for education planning but have not received much official attention. A review of the premises of the recommendations, the visionary approach adopted by the commission and their current relevance are attempted in this paper and will hopefully be useful for the preparation of the Eleventh Plan.

Knowledge Commission and Higher Education

There are a number of serious problems with the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission. Many are not based on any analysis and are without supporting evidence. This article critiques some important observations of the Commission.

Cess-driven Allocations for Education

There is nothing special in the union budget for the education sector, but for a noticeable increase in budgetary outlays for elementary education, possible because of the education cess. Adult as well as higher and technical education have not seen a significant increase in outlays; neither has any special scheme been proposed for any sector of education.

On Allocating 6 Per Cent of GDP to Education

If there is political will, the goal of allocating resources equivalent to 6 per cent of the gross domestic product for education is realisable. Allocations to education can be increased by reallocating resources from other sectors or by raising more resources for the common pool of government funds or by both. However, a generous approach needs to be adopted in allocation to and reallocation of resources in favour of education.

Higher Education in `Trishanku`

The higher education systems in many countries today are at the crossroads. There is a gradual shift from education being a state responsibility to its privatisation. Many consider the public sector to be inefficient in the field of education and correspondingly the private sector as efficient and therefore desirable. Nevertheless, the case for public provisioning of education remains strong. It is imperative for the state to play a dominant role in this field.

Education in the UPA Government Common Minimum Programme

On the whole there is very little that is new on education in the Common Minimum Programme and hence it does not really contain an exciting set of proposals. But since it outlines the priorities of the UPA government, one has to take serious note of it. Being a mix of social, economic and poitical priorities, the document outlines some issues clearly, some vaguely, some less coherently and some are wanting in critical detail. Many important issues have been conveniently ignored altogether. Perhaps a CMP of a coalition cannot be otherwise.

Absence of Policy and Perspective in Higher Education

Recent trends indicate a growing public apathy for higher education, that becomes evident with falling public expenditure in the sector. Along with this, there has not evolved a coherent policy on its development. This has led to erratic and unregulated growth of private higher education.

Fees, Autonomy and Equity

The current rift between IIMs and the government on fees unmasks different faces of marketisation of higher education and of the various actors involved.

Free and Compulsory Education

The union government is preparing a Free and Compulsory Education Bill in order to make the 86th amendment to the Constitution that has made elementary education a fundamental right, statutorily enforceable. State governments may follow enacting their own legislation.

Public Subsidies in Education in India

Though public subsidisation of many social and economic services is a common feature of most countries of the world, of late with increasing budgetary constraints, many began raising questions on the rationale of government subsidies, and arguing in favour of drastic reduction, if not eliminating altogether of subsidies. Concentrating on education sector, this paper reviews some of the well known arguments in favour of, and counter arguments against public subsidies. Since much of the controversies are around subsidies in higher education, the paper focuses on the same, though discussion on lower levels of education is also included. The paper reviews the recent trends in public expenditures on education in India, and the available estimates on the rates of subsidy and cost recovery. Distribution of some specific subsidies in education, such as free education, fee exemptions, textbooks, noon meals, etc, is also briefly analysed. Some of the important issues on, for example, the size of the subsidy, targeting versus universalism, and methods of cost recovery are also briefly discussed. It has been shown that the level of subsidies in education in India is not particularly high, nor is the rate of cost recovery particularly low, in comparison with other developed and developing countries. It has also been found that some of the specific subsidies in education are fairly progressively distributed.


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