The 2019 Draft New Education Policy (NEP) estimates that the funding allocation for education will need to increase by 10 percent each year over the next 10 years to properly implement the policy proposals. However, the 2020-21 budget does not provide for this and has allocated Rs 99,300 crore to the sector after Rs 94,854 crore were estimated in July 2019. A further Rs 3,000 crore was made available for qualification development. Taken together, this is less than 5 percentage points more than in the previous year.
In the 2020 budget, some of the programs signed by the Modi government were also significantly reduced, such as funding for research and innovation in higher education by almost 50 percent – from 609 billion rupees last year to 307 billion rupees – and 85 billion rupees percent in allocation to the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), from Rs 2100 crore to Rs 300 crore.
The poor use of funds and allegations of corruption have played their part: only 25 percent of the allocations from last year were spent by the department for higher education until December 2019 crore in RUSA expenditure. The Center for Political Research's accountability initiative also found that as of December 15, 2019, the central government had released only 57 percent of the approved funds for the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
Although the NEP is not yet public, the government has announced proposals that look inspired by the draft. Online educational programs for university degrees are offered by the 100 best institutes in the National Institutional Ranking Framework. Around 150 universities will accept apprenticeship / diploma courses by March 2021.
Given the lack of qualified doctors, the government has proposed connecting a medical school to a district hospital in public-private partnership (PPP) mode. To meet the demand for teachers, paramedics and caregivers abroad, the Ministry of Skills Development will develop a bridging course with language skills. An IND-SAT exam is held in African and Asian countries to assess foreign students and to award scholarships to higher education institutions in India.
However, experts believe that these steps are unlikely to produce the desired results. "The idea of apprenticeship is an old idea with little benefit. The focus could be on incentivizing curriculum changes at universities, encouraging startups, interacting with industry and addressing local needs," said Dinesh Singh, former vice chancellor of the Delhi University.
The announcement to allow foreign direct investment in the education sector met with criticism. RSS subsidiary Swadeshi Jagran Manch said the program would ultimately transfer domestic resources abroad.