Monday, February 13, 2006
IF HIGHER education is languishing in Bihar, here is one reason why. The Human Resource Development ministry spends just Re 1.87 per person for higher education in the state. That is just 1 per cent of the Rs 177.22 that the ministry spends per person in Delhi.
The report by a group of Oriyas based in Japan and the United States, analyzing the ministry's funding to various states in the last budget, concludes that the ministry has not been spending enough on higher education in poorer states like Bihar, Rajasthan and Orissa.
While Rajasthan gets Rs 2.59 per person, Orissa is given just Rs 4.07, Gujarat takes Rs 4.87 and Chhattis garh Rs 7.39.
Other states with higher allocation is Uttranchal Rs 105.42, Arunachal Pradesh Rs 105 and Assam with Rs 77.7.
And the reason for the wide differences, according to officials, is that the money is not allocated on the basis of population but on what institutes the ministry supports in individual states.
The study was triggered by the ministry's decision to award the Indian Institute of Sciences to West Bengal and not Orissa. HRD minister Arjun Singh had overruled the Univer sity Grants Commission's decision to grant the institute to Bhubaneswar saying it was not under its jurisdiction. Instead, it was given to neighbouring West Bengal.
Digambar Patra, who coordinated the study in Japan and US and is a fellow in Waseda University of Tokyo, says such imbalances could be detrimental to countries given the significance of human resource development.
But the study would not bring down changes in the disparities dramatically in the coming budget. The Planning Commission has already informed the ministry that it is not increasing the allocation for higher education. "The increase can be examined only for the 11th five year plan starting in 2006-07,"a Planning Commission official said.
Where are they headed? 1.87 rupee is what HRD ministry spends per person for higher education in Bihar