INDIA: Huge funding hike proposed to meet promises

The human resource development ministry is pitching for a near 100% hike in higher education funding under the 2011-12 union budget to meet a slew of promises it is running out of time to implement, writes Charu Sudan Kasturi for the Hindustan Times.

HRD minister Kapil Sibal has asked Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to increase budgetary allocation for the higher education department from Rs16,690 crore (US$3.6 billion) in 2010-11 to over Rs30,000 crore in 2011-12, top government sources have told Hindustan Times. If accepted, the hike would be the largest ever for higher education.

The higher education hike is critical for the government to meet a number of commitments made by it under the XIth Five Year Plan. The 2011-12 financial year will be the last under the XIth Plan, which ends in 2012. These unfulfilled promises include plans to start 20 new Indian Institutes of Information Technology and the National Education Finance Corporation, which will provide easy loans and bank guarantees for students seeking higher education loans, and also provide loans for new institutions.
Full report on the Hindustan Times site