Sudhanva Shetty Shetty
Writer, coffee-addict, likes folk music & long walks in the rain. Firmly believes that there's nothing more important in a democracy than a well-informed electorate.
In the past few days, there have been rumours floating on social media that the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government slashed funding for education by almost 95% in its Budget for 2016-2017.
These rumours are false. Allocating merely Rs 576 crore for education in a state of 200 million people is impractical and unfeasible.
The rumours seem to have stemmed from a PTI report that was shared by some media outlets. The report claimed:
“The government has also cut the budgetary provisions for secondary education and higher education compared to that of previous government dispensation.
In the 2016-17 budget presented by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government, a provision of Rs 9,990 crore was made for secondary education, which has came down to only Rs 576 crore in the Yogi Adityanath government, a reduction of Rs 9,414 crore.
The higher education sector also saw a significant cut. Last year’s budget had a provision of Rs 2,742 crore, while this year it was Rs 272.77 crore, marking a shortfall of Rs Rs 2,469.73 crore.”
This report was shared by several media outlets and politicians, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.
Great move CM Yogi – next you can save some more money by closing all the hospitalshttps://t.co/1CCqrb5crf
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) July 15, 2017
But the claims in these articles were refuted by the UP government. A spokesperson for the same said, “The total budget for primary, secondary and higher education in the UP budget for 2017-18 is Rs 62,185.25 crore as compared to the previous budget of 2016-17 of Rs 49,607.93 crore, which is 25.4% higher.”
He said the budget for primary education is Rs 50,142 crore this time compared to Rs 38,066.06 crore last time, which is 31.7% more.
Similarly, the budget for secondary education is 4.8% higher than the previous fiscal. This year Rs 9,387.44 crore has been earmarked for the department, compared to Rs 8,956.86 crore last time.
For higher education, he said, the allocation this time is 2.7% more than the last financial year.
I went through the UP Budget documents to find out if the news of drastic budget cuts for education are true. Here's what i found pic.twitter.com/XpZV1QokLE
— Dibyasundar Nayak (@dibyabttb) July 16, 2017
On going through official PDF documents on the state government’s budgetary website, the government’s claims are vindicated. The education budget was not slashed by 94%; in fact, in some areas, the budget allocations have increased. Below are screenshots of the budget allocations with the links to the files.
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