The state government has boosted its allocation for the education sector in its budget for the fiscal year 2023-24, despite a slight decrease in education's percentage of the total budget. In 2022-23, the government spent around Rs.1.01 lakh crore on education, ranging from Anganwadis to higher education projects. During the following fiscal year, this spending increased to Rs.1.11 lakh crore, a roughly 10% rise.
The allocation for the state school education department increased from Rs.66,886 CRORE in 2022-23 to Rs.73,666 crores. The revised projection for 2022-23 has been raised to Rs.69,308 crore. The higher education department has been allocated Rs .13,648 crore, an increase over the previous year's budget estimate of Rs.12,364 crore and the revised estimate of Rs.12,927 crore.
Nevertheless, in the Rs.5.48 lakh crore budget announced by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday, the percentage of school education fell marginally from 13.5% to 13.45%. In contrast, the share of higher education stayed steady at 2.5%. The government has increased the amount of scholarship money granted to schoolchildren from Rs.1,000-1,500 to Rs.5,000-7,500. The state has also resolved to offer elementary pupils free uniforms at all schools managed by local self-government entities. As previously stated, the scholarship for higher study has been enhanced from Rs.25,000 to Rs.50,000. The entire budget for the project, however, has only increased marginally from Rs.120 crore to Rs.124 crore.
The budget also included a scholarship program to assist 100 Ph.D. students from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community each year. Yet, funding for another initiative to help Scheduled Caste (SC) students study abroad has been reduced. The budget estimate for the initiative was Rs.150 crore last year, but it was reduced to Rs.55 crore in the revised projections. This year, the program has only received Rs.100 crore.