Education Budget 2022: Allocation Details, Analysis, and Reactions

New Delhi, 2 February 2022 – The Education Budget 2022 was revealed yesterday by the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. The minister has increased the overall financial allocation for the education sector by 11.86%. The budget has been increased from INR 93,224 crore in 2021-22 to INR 1.04 lakh crore for 2022-23. 

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The Union Finance Minister put a special emphasis on digitalisation of education and skill training & urban development. If one takes a closer look at the budget, it will be noticed that the rise in allocation for the education sector is mainly due to the increase in the amount for the school education sector, which has been increased from INR 31,050 crore (in 2021-22) to INR 37,383 crore (for 2022-23).

Note: To read the key highlights of the Education Budget 2022, please click here

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Education Budget 2022 – Increased Allocation Details

  • The budget for the Department of Higher Education has been increased by INR 2,477.7 crore (6.46 per cent).
  • In the overall budget allocation for 2022-23, the budget for scheme allocation is INR 51,052.37 crore and the budget for non-scheme allocation is INR 12,397 crore. 
  • The budget for the scheme of ‘Samagra Shiksha’ – in other words, the school education sector – has been increased by INR 6,333.20 crore. 
  • Budget allocation for the World Bank-aided scheme of Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) has increased by INR 65 crore, from INR 485 crore (in 2021-22) to INR 550 crore (for 2022-23). 
  • Allocation for the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) has increased by INR 850 crore (from INR 6,800 crore in 2021-22 to INR 7,650 crore for 2022-23). 
  • The allocation for the Navodya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) has been increased by INR 315 crore (from INR 3,800 crore in 2021-22 to INR 4,115 crore for 2022-23). 

Education Budget 2022 – Is it Enough?

To reach an understanding about whether the education budget allocated for 2022-23 is enough or not, one needs to know about the recommendations made by the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP). 

NEP 2020 recommends to invest 6% of the GDP* on education. If one compares the education budget for 2022-23 to India’s GDP, it will be clear that the budget does not touch the prescribed number. Interestingly, the education budget for the last three years has also not touched the prescribed number.

As per an economic survey presented by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday (January 31), the expenditure on education compared to India’s GDP was:

  • 2019-20: 2.8% of GDP
  • 2020-21: 3.1% of GDP
  • 2021-22: 3.1% of GDP

As per this data, to meet the 6% GDP criteria, the Education Budget 2022-23 should have been almost double of last year’s allocation. However, there is only an 11.86% increase in the budget from last year, which means the budget falls short of the expectations laid by the NEP 2020. 

Note: GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product and represents the total monetary value of all goods and services produced (and sold in the market) within a country during a period of 1 year. 

Education Budget 2022 Disappoints Student Bodies

A majority of student bodies feel disappointed after yesterday’s budget announcements. In regards to the education budget for 2022, the Right to Education (RTE) forum noted, “[The] Union Budget 2022-23 fails to address the challenges posed by digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, by focusing yet again on digital learning and proposing the expansion of e-VIDYA, instead of focusing on the need to re-open schools on a priority basis.”

Similarly, the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) stated, “The status quo maintained in the planned spending highlights the utter neglect of the pandemic-hit education sector. We were hoping for the budget to provide a major boost to education and remedy this loss [the loss of learning that happened due to COVID], but it has been a disappointment. Barring a few e-learning initiatives, there wasn’t much in the budget to address this issue. Digital education can only compliment in-person learning and can never be an alternative.” 

In a similar vein, the National Student Union of India (NSUI) stated that students were expecting a waive-off from education loan and showed concerns over the pending scholarship and fellowship programmes promised to the students. NSUI’s President, Neeraj Kundan, said “the [budget] stressed on digital education and e-content but what [the Union Finance Minister] doesn’t address is the basic problem of equipping the schools and colleges with laptops and computers.” 

Note: To read more about the Education Budget 2022, please refer to the following pages of the Budget Speech Document linked here:

  • Page 7 (point 43)
  • Page 8 (all points)
  • Page 9 (points 51 and 52)
  • Page 13 (point 71)

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