Education push to cost INR 48,000 billlion

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In order to implement the Right to Education Bill, 2008, the Government of India has allocated an additional INR 48,000 billion over four years. Currently, the draft bill is being circulated in the government and the Cabinet is likely to consider on the matter.

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The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (HRD) is hoping that RTE will pass the scrutiny of the finance ministry and Planning Commission. The cost will be around INR 12,000 billion per year to make it operational. The government has several fund-sharing options before it. One option would be to go in for a 90:10 sharing pattern, in which the Centre contributes 90% of the funds and the states the remaining 10%. The other option will be a replica of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan model, where the Centre's contribution reduces over a period of time, as the states begin to shoulder greater share of the fiscal burden. In the sliding scale model, for the initial years when the investments required are higher, the Centre will need to provide the larger share. Decision on the funding pattern need not be taken right away, and can be deferred till Parliament passes the bill. After reworking on the financial implications of legislation, HRD Ministry has revised the required outlay from INR 3,21,196 billion to a six-year outlay of INR 2,28,674 billion, INR 92,520 billion reduction in costs. At this point, the cost of financing RTE was INR 39,182 billion in the first year and by the sixth year it was expected to be around INR 22,945 billion. This reduction is on account of reverse demographic shift in the 6 to 13 age group.

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