Published: 03rd February 2023
Union Budget 2023-24: Breakthrough Science Society calls allocation to education sector "meagre"
BSS stated that a majority of the allocation would be poured into facilitating online education rather than improving infrastructure in gov't schools
The Union Budget 2023-24 has been criticised for focusing on the implementation of NEP and not strengthening the existing education sector, by the Breakthrough Science Society (BSS). The Breakthrough Science Society is a social services organisation. The budget allocation to the education sector was called "meagre" said BSS and they stated that the majority of the allocation would be poured into NGOs and other private companies to facilitate online education rather than improving infrastructure in government-run educational institutions.
President of BSS Dhrubajyoti Mukherjee said, "Ever since the NEP 2020 was introduced, successive budgets have not reflected the necessary financial commitment. This year too, the outlay on education is Rs 1,12,899 crore, which is only 2.507% of the Union Budget. It is clear that the Union government is bent on implementing NEP 2020 without making the necessary financial provisions. Even out of this meagre amount given to education, a significant sum will be spent on facilitating online education to be poured into NGOs and private companies to set up digital libraries and labs for developing apps for the effective use of 5G technology," stated a report by The New Indian Express.
Additionally, they stated that the current budget's funding for science is less than ideal because it prevents India from competing with other countries. "What does the scientific community expect to see in a Union budget? The current level of expenditure in S&T is hopelessly inadequate if India is to compete at the international level in knowledge generation. So the scientific community expects to see a significant increase in the outlay for research. But, out of a total budget of Rs 45,03,097 crore, only Rs 16,361 crore (that is 0.36% of the central budget) has been allocated to the Ministry of Science & Technology," said Mukherjee, as reported by The New Indian Express.