Budget 2021: Over Rs 10,000 cr cut from SSA in 2020-21 revised budget

Union Budget 2021: Funds for school education were cut by close to Rs 7,000 crores in the revised estimates for the financial year 2020.

Budget 2021: Over Rs 10,000 cr cut from SSA in 2020-21 revised budget Budget 2021 showed massive cuts due to COVID-19 (source: Shutterstock)
Atul Krishna | Feb 1, 2021 - 3:29 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Education cut more than Rs 10,000 crore from the country’s largest school education scheme, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in 2020 following the aftermath of COVID-19, show the revised estimates for the 2020-21 financial year. The overall budget for school education was cut by close to Rs 7,000 crores in the revised estimates.

The budget for school education was cut massively even though the National Education Policy 2020, which proposed massive restructuring of the education landscape, was introduced in the months following India’s first COVID-19 case.

The Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan scheme’s budget was revised down to Rs 27,957 crores as opposed to the Rs 38,750.50 crore allotted to it in Budget 2020-21. Similar to the Union Budget 2021, the National Scheme for Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education saw a huge drop from Rs 110 crores to Rs 1 crore in the revised budget estimates for the financial year 2020.

Activists said that the decision to estimate a lesser budget for the year 2021-22 for Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan than what the government actually spent in 2019-20 is a move to usher in privatization of education.

"If the allocation for SSA is so small then where will the government find money to spend on strengthening 15,000 schools for the National Education Policy 2020. This is a highly disappointing budget that only helps to usher in privatization,” Ambarish Rai, national convenor of RTE Forum, said.

In 2019-20, the actual spending on Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan was Rs 32,376.52, however, the estimated budget for 2021-22 has only allotted Rs 31,050.16 crore.

However, fund allocation for mid-day meal scheme, Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas saw an increase in the revised budget estimates for 2020.

Mid day meal scheme received an additional Rs 1,900 crores show the revised estimates. The delivery of the mid day meals remained inconsistent as states such as Goa did not deliver the meals through the lockdown. Kendriya Vidyalayas were provided close to Rs 900 crores more and Navodaya Vidyalayas saw an increase of Rs 180 crores.

The revised estimates for major schemes in Budget 2020-21 is provided below. Allocations for National Means Cum Merit Scholarship decreased by Rs 23 crores while an extra Rs 10 crore was allotted for teacher training and adult education.

School Schemes / Institutions

Budget Estimates 2020-21 (In Rs. Cr)

Revised Estimate 2020-21 (In Rs. Cr)

Total Budget

59,845.00

52,189

Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan

38,750.50

27,957

Mid-Day Meal Scheme

11,000

12,900

Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan

5,516.50

6,437.68

Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti

3,300

3,480

Teachers Training, Adult Education

110

120.25

National Means cum Merit scholarship

373

350

National Scheme for Incentive to Girls

110

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