Date – 02.02.2023 –
Sourav Ghosh, General Secretary of AIDSO issued following statement to the press:
“The Union Budget 2023 is utterly disappointing, as far as students’ section of the country is concerned. It has been observed, since many years, that while the total amount of the budget is shown to be increased, the percentage of the allocation devoted for education, relative to the total expenditure, is decreasing. In the financial year 2020-21, just before the Prime Minister’s cherished NEP 2020 was adopted, the allocation for education was 3.26% of the total budget which has subsequently reduced to 2.67% in 2021-22, 2.64% in 2022-23 and this year it has come down to 2.5% (1,12899 crores out of 45,03,097 crores) of the total budget. It is also noteworthy that in spite of the tall claim in NEP-2020 of allocating 6% of GDP on education, it lingers on just 3% of GDP this year. We have also observed that most of the expenditure is done on backlog and for the government advertisements. The education is suffering today because lakhs of posts of teachers, staff, etc. are lying vacant. Lakhs of schools and colleges lack basic required infrastructure also. In this grave situation, the budget is totally silent on how much fund will be utilized in which area and whether the required infrastructure, recruitment of new teachers, staff etc. will be done or not. The government has also not clarified how much of the money, allotted in the last budget, has been spent.
There is a provision in the budget to have collaboration with NGOs. This will open up the floodgate of privatisation and commercialisation of education. This budget reflected the plan of all out privatisation of education sector which we have repeatedly mentioned regarding NEP20.
The budget plays absolutely mute on the question of fundamental research and development, but the stress on digitalisation is clear. While being silent about the development of general education, it is talking more about skill education which is detrimental to the development of knowledge creation.
AIDSO recognises this budget as pro-corporate, anti-education and anti-student and, appeals to the student community, in particular, and education loving people, in general, to denounce this budget and develop strong movement against the government intending to destroy the public education system of our country.”