Higher education was almost entirely ignored in a Budget where even the broader subject of education found only a quick mention. And that too was just a passing reference that improving the quality of education was one of the 10 visions.
In 2019/20, there is a 19 per cent increase in allocation (to Rs 38,572 crore) to the National Education Mission for disbursement to states and Union Territories for centrally sponsored schemes. The money is likely to be used to create smart classrooms and improve the quality of learning.
With the largest chunk of the young population in an ageing world, leveraging education to create tomorrow's workforce is imperative. And for that focus on higher education is crucial.
Especially when India's overall education expenditure has already reduced from 3.1 per cent of GDP in 2012/13 to 2.8 per cent in 2014/15, and then further dropped in FY16 to 2.4 per cent.