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Has the UP Govt Slashed Funds for Education? Here’s a Fact Check

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The Uttar Pradesh government recently presented its first budget. The very next day, various newspapers reported that the UP government has slashed funds for education in the 2017-18 budget quoting a PTI copy.Soon after, the Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi also tweeted the story.The Aam Aadmi Party posted a picture on its Facebook page. The AAP also seems to have taken the numbers from the PTI story.

So What is the Truth?

However, the UP government’s Budget documents tell a different story. Below are the links to the official budget documents

  • Primary Education:       2016-17 2017-18
  • Secondary Education: 2016-17 2017-18
  • Higher Education:         2016-17 2017-18

There is a primary difference between the nature of budgets for the year 2016-17 and 2017-18 in the way the allocations are made.

The central government and most state governments have done away with the Plan/Non-Plan mode of budgeting to Revenue/Capital budgeting. Even UP has done the same. Despite this change, the allocations have increased and not decreased.

Compared to the budget estimates of 2016-17 by the Akhilesh Yadav government, the education allocation in 2017-18 budget estimate has gone up by over 25 percent. The allocations have increased in Primary, Secondary as well as Higher education sectors. If one compares the revised estimates of 2016-17, the increase in allocations is over 30 percent.

Even PRS Legislative Research has noted the same in their analysis of the UP Budget 2017-18. PRS noted that compared to the budget estimate for education in 2016-17 of Rs 49808 (including the budget of SCERT), the 2017-18 budget estimate for education increased by Rs 12500 crore.

Also Read: No, Yogi’s Budget Isn’t Unfairly Starving the Taj Mahal of Funds

Claims Vs Facts

Claim 1: The allocation to secondary education is down to Rs 576 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 9,990 crore in 2016-17.

Fact: The total allocation for secondary education in 2017-18 is Rs 9,387 crore as per the UP Budget documents. So this claim is false.

Claim 2: The allocation to higher education is down to Rs 272.77 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 2,469.73 crore in 2016-17.

Fact: The total allocation for higher education in 2017-18 is Rs 2,656 crore. So this claim is also false.

Claim 3: There is no mention of the laptop scheme in 2017-18 budget.

Fact: Yes, there is no mention of such a scheme in 2017-18 while this was introduced in 2016-17 by the previous government. This claim is true.

Claim 4: The Aam Aadmi Party claimed that the per capita expenditure on education in Delhi as per the 2017-18 budget is (Rs 11,300 crore for 1.8 crore population) is Rs 6,277 while the per capita expenditure in UP is Rs 11.52.

Fact: AAP has used only the secondary education budget numbers for UP as reported by Business Standard while it counted the total education budget for Delhi. Even otherwise, the total expenditure on education in UP as per the 2017-18 budget is Rs 62,351 crore (including SCERT budget). Hence the per capita expenditure in UP would be Rs 3,117.5 and not Rs 11.52 as claimed by AAP. This claim is also false.

(This story was originally published in Factly.)

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