Mumbai: The state government has increased allocation for the education sector in its budget for the financial year 2023-24, though there's a marginal drop in the share of education in the overall budget.
In 2022-23, the government spent around Rs 1.01 lakh crore on the education sector right from Anganwadis to initiatives in higher education. This expenditure was increased to 1.11 lakh crore - nearly a 10% hike - for the next fiscal.
The outlay for the state school education department rose from Rs. 66,886 CRORE allocated in 2022-23 to Rs 73,666 crore. The revised estimate for 2022-23 was also increased to Rs, 69,308 crore. The higher education department has received an allocation of Rs 13,648 crore, up from last year's budget estimate of Rs 12,364 crore and the revised estimate of Rs 12,927 crore.
However, the share of school education in the Rs. 5.48 lakh crore presented by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday dipped slightly from 13.5% to 13.45%, while the share of higher education remained constant at 2.5%.
The government announced a hike in scholarship amount given to school children from Rs 1,000-1,500 to Rs 5,000-7,500. The state has also decided to provide free uniforms to primary students at all the schools run by local self-government bodies.
As announced earlier, the scholarship given to students for higher education has also been doubled from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. However, the overall outlay for the scheme has increased only marginally from Rs 120 crore to Rs 124 crore.
A scholarship scheme to help 100 PhD students of Scheduled Tribe (ST) community every year was also announced in the budget. However, the allocation for another scheme to provide aid to Scheduled Caste (SC) students for studying abroad has been slashed. While last year the budget estimate for the scheme was Rs 150 crore, it was brought down to Rs 55 crore in the revised estimates. This year, the initiative has drawn only Rs 100 crore.
The state has also earmarked Rs 500 crore in the budget 2023-24 as a special grant to a number of universities in the state including the MUMBAI University of Mumbai. A provision of Rs 1,160 crore has been made for grants to partially-aided schools, with an aim of bringing them completely on the state's tab.
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