EDUCATION is one of the dominant sectors of the Indian economy in terms of enrolment of children, employment of adults and investment of financial resources. While school education has a broad base, higher education suffers from a narrow base covering only about 5% of the relevant age group population. With the expansion of school education, the pressure on the higher education system to expand is expected to continue in India.
Financing of Elementary Education
Formal modern education in India gained ground only in the 19th and the early part of the last century, mainly through non-governmental effort. It is, therefore, not surprising that private institutions comprised a considerable part of the sector at the turn of independence, more so in higher education. The non-governmental providers of higher education (mostly in the form of charitable trusts and societies) were arguably impelled by a variety of motives, but principally these were non-pecuniary in nature.
All public expenditure meant for development of a community can be expected to have some benefits for children as well. However, in a country where children are clearly a disadvantaged section, there exists a strong case for identifying that part of the public expenditure specifically earmarked for addressing their needs. Such an exercise requires segregating those schemes which are specifically meant for addressing the needs of children, and it is this expenditure which is referred to as the magnitude of total Child Budget.