Education has been accorded a high priority in development policy in most countries, including India. Despite the intention, the expansion of education in the country has been slow as compared to some of the other developing countries. Given the crucial role that education plays in accelerating socio-economic development, public provisioning of education has been an important area of government intervention in the country.
The provisioning of universal and quality education requires significant financial resources. However, in the Indian context, there have been a number of concerns not only with regard to the magnitude of public resources for education but also with the effectiveness of public spending in the sector. Since education is in the Concurrent List of the Constitution, both Union and State Governments share the responsibility towards this sector.
Accordingly, CBGA undertakes in-depth research on government budgets at the Union and State levels to analyse the policy priorities for education, with emphasis on school education. In spite of government’s intention and efforts, gaps in quality of school education have been a major concern for some years now, especially in the policy discourse on government financing of education. Hence, CBGA’s research focuses on the budgetary priorities for school education overall and for various components within school education that are considered more relevant for enhancing quality of learning. We also examine the issues of equity and inclusion in the domain of public provisioning of education.
Another important area of research by CBGA focuses on the extent and quality of fund utilisation in some of the major central schemes for school education like, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid-Day Meal, and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan. Our research tries to identify the systemic weaknesses and the institutional and procedural constraints, which need to be addressed so as to enable the States to enhance the effectiveness of their budgetary spending in the sector.