Spending on education

Cost of education

Print edition : October 14, 2016
NSSO data reveal marked disparities in what people spend on education and also point to a steady erosion of the state's role in higher education.

The National Sample Survey Office conducted its 71st round survey on social consumption in education in January-June 2014 and its findings paint a clear picture of the divide between rural and urban India and between government, private-aided and private-unaided institutions in terms of what students spend to obtain an education. The data also revealed the distribution of students across government and private schools and colleges across the country and provided a genderwise breakdown of students in various courses.

Not surprisingly, there were marked cost disparities between government, private-aided and private-unaided institutions in both rural and urban areas, with the greatest differences seen in medicine, management and vocational institutions.

Government institutions reigned supreme in the fields of primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary education in rural areas, accounting for more than half of all students enrolled across the country and more than 70 per cent at the primary and upper primary levels.

However, private institutions have a clear advantage in the urban areas. At the post-school level too, the number of students enrolled in all private institutions outnumbered those in state-run ones across disciplines, indicating the need for the government to broaden its role in this area.

The genderwise breakdown showed that men outnumbered women in most courses with the exception of medicine, by a wide margin. The biggest gap was seen in courses run by ITIs and recognised institutes and engineering.

Delhi was the most expensive State for general education, followed by Haryana, Punjab, Nagaland, and Mizoram, while it was the least expensive in Chhattisgarh.

For technical/professional education, Sikkim topped the most expensive States, while Chhattisgarh was again the cheapest, followed by Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan.