Total Expenditure of the Country

Government expenditure on education in India

Following are the details of the expenses incurred on education:

During the Financial Year 2011-12, the Government of India has allocated 38,957 crore for the Department of School Education and Literacy which is the main department dealing with primary education in India.

With this allotted amount major share of 21,000 crore, is for the flagship programme ‘Sarva Siksha Abhiyan(SSA)’. However, budgetary allocation of 21,000 crore is considered very low in view of the officially appointed Anil Bordia Committee recommendation of 35,659 for the year 2011-12.

This higher allocation was required to implement the recent legislation ‘Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

At present , several major announcements were made for developing the poor state of affairs in education sector in India, the most notable ones being the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

The facts of the announcements are as follow:

  1. To progressively increase expenditure on education to around 6% of GDP.
  2. To support this increase in expenditure on education, and to increase the quality of education, there would be an imposition of an education cess over all central government taxes.
  3. To ensure that no one is denied of education due to economic backwardness and poverty.
  4. To make right to education a fundamental right for all children in the age group 6–14 years.
  5. To universalise education through its flagship programmes such as Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and Mid day Meal scheme

However, even after five years of implementation of NCMP, not much progress has been seen on this front. Although the country targeted towards devoting 6% share of the GDP towards the educational sector, the performance has definitely fallen short of expectations. Expenditure on education has steadily risen from 0.64% of GDP in 1951–52 to 2.31% in 1970–71 and thereafter reached the peak of 4.26% in 2000–01.

However, it declined to 3.49% in 2004–05. There is a definite need to step-up again. As a proportion of total government expenditure, it has declined from around 11.1% in 2000–2001 to around 9.98% during UPA rule, even though ideally it should be around 20% of the total budget. A policy brief issued by [Network for Social Accountability (NSA) titled “[NSA Response to Education Sector Interventions in Union Budget: UPA Rule and the Education Sector]” provides significant revelation to this fact. Due to a declining priority of education in the public policy paradigm in India, there has been an exponential growth in the private expenditure on education also.


As per the available information, the private out of pocket expenditure by the working class population for the education of their children in India has increased by around 1150 percent or around 12.5 times over the last decade.