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The remaining 97% of students attend 865 higher educational institutes in the country and get less than half the government funds.

New Delhi: More than 50 per cent of the central government’s funds for higher education, in the last three years, has gone to just 3 per cent of the country’s students — those who study at the likes of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs).  

Such is the skewed government attention that the remaining 97 per cent of the students attend 865 higher educational institutes in the country and of these, just about half are public funded. And together, they receive less than half the total government funds.

Even the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the 10 IISERs are in this category.

On the other hand, there are just 97 IITs, NITs, IIMs and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) in all.

Data shared by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) in Parliament recently shows the single biggest chunk of government funds — 26.96 per cent of the total — has gone to the IITs, which have just 1.18 per cent of the students; 17.99 per cent has gone to NITs, where 1.37 per cent of the students study; 3.35 per cent has gone to the IIMs, which have 0.12 per cent of the students and 2.28 per cent of the budget has gone to the IIITs, where 0.05 per cent students study.

The remaining 48.9 per cent of the higher education funds have gone to the 865 institutions, which have 97.4 per cent of the country’s students.

Educationists and policy-makers blame the lop-sided approach on the government, having created a kind of hierarchy within the education system. Others say that the Centre has not kept up with the growing number of institutes.


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‘Unequal, unfair’

While the government data is for just three years, former HRD minister Pallam Raju, who headed the ministry under the UPA government, said the skewed funding pattern has been the norm for years.

“Initially the number of higher education institutions was very little and IITs were recognised as premier institutions. So, in order to keep up their competence, funding had to be proportionate, whereas, central universities started growing in terms of disciplines and the funds that go to each department started going down,” Raju told ThePrint.

“Simultaneously, we did not work on an alternate mechanism to run these institutions and that is what caused the problem.”

Former chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC), Sukhdeo Thorat, who has seen government’s policies very closely, criticised the “hierarchical” system.

“Funding is being granted to higher education institutions in a hierarchy system. Some institutions are being given more funds while others are being left high and dry. Equal funding should be given to all and then the government should see how these institutions perform,” Thorat said.

Another official who has worked with the government on education policy, said, “When it comes to funding, state universities are left high and dry. Most of them are now running on a self-financing mode. How can we expect the public education system to improve in such a scenario?”

The official also said that the IITs and NITs get huge amounts of money as the government only wanted Indian institutions to figure in world rankings.

“Nobody wants to focus on improving the system at the base. I am not comfortable with the approach where the government is trying to give more funding to some, while under-funding the others. It is like a caste system or hierarchy. The system as a whole should be funded,” he added.

IITs, IIMs the winners

Apart from funding, the IITs and IIMs also receive the maximum government attention in terms of policy-making.

Two of the IITs — Bombay and Delhi — recently found a place in the list of Institutes of Eminence. They are now eligible for more grants to catapult them to world rankings.

Before the proposal of the Institutes of Eminence was finalised, the government had floated “Project Vishwajeet”, which was also focused on providing more grants to IITs as part of efforts to develop them into world-class institutions.

The government’s other favourite child, the IIMs, also receive a lot of attention. For one, they are autonomous.  This allows them to charge fees on their own discretion, hire faculty and manage themselves without any interference from the government.

Nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar, who in 2011 headed a panel set up to upgrade the quality of research and further development of IITs, believes that “equalising the budget” isn’t the solution.

“There is a need to increase the overall standard of higher education institutes but the way to look at it is not to equalise the budget,” he said.

“There is a huge demographic dividend in the country and if you want to leverage that demographic dividend you must create value out of the capability of the youth, that in turn can be done by intervening in higher education,” he added.

He pointed to what he said is the problem — that the country spends way too little of its GDP on education. “Instead of looking at the amount of money that we are spending on various institutions, we should look at India’s overall spending on education and what is the percentage of our GDP that we are spending on education,” Kakodar said.


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28 COMMENTS

  1. IITians are the biggest traitors ! Just think about it, govt spending so much on them and these narcissists fleeing away to “phoren” countries. Remember, these IITians are the biggest Narcissists. Some of their characteristics are as follows:
    i) Super inflated ego
    ii) Insatiable desire for respect
    iii) Narcissism
    iv) Irrational sense of pride
    v) Superiority Complex
    The govt. must realise its mistake. You trained the so-called “best minds” since the 1950s and what did they do? Worked for NASA, Google, Microsoft and what not. Sheer wastage of Indian Money on these narcissits. You keep investing, and you don’t get any return. Such a Bullshit policy ! The awakening needs to come.
    Many people argue that they are “representing” India on a global level. Have you ever wondered why India is still a developing nation? Because the country is spending its precious money on these narcissists. Believe it or not, its the truth. Thanks to those foolish parents who send their children into those rotten coaching institutes, the coaching industry is in billions now. Ever wondered about the nexus between a so-called difficult exam and the coaching institute ? Its all a planned game between these Branded institutes and coachings. 97% students getting less than half of the funds, what can be more illogical than that !! And above all this mess, you have people fighting on behalf of these narcissists. To those people who have been bitten by the “IIT” bug, think about this-
    You are paying your taxes.
    These narcissists feed on your money.
    They get subsidized fees.
    They flee to a foreign country.
    Now, how did you benefit in the above process ? In no way at all ! A person of Indian origin becoming the CEO of an American company won’t help you at all !
    #NarcissistIITians
    Seriously.”Incredible” India !!

  2. IIM students have to pay fees above 20 lakhs in older ones.. They didnot receive any funding from government. Bullishit article in such a prestigious magazine.. horroble

  3. Basically only top 3 percent are the only ones who prepare and study. This is evident from the fact that 97 percentile and above students are the only ones scoring passing marks in any exam per say( one will know if he or she has given any exam of this sort). However, the govt jobs are so small in number that even those students are not accomodated fully. That is the issue needing address. Rather than commenting on funding. As that is the only thing which seems right.

  4. Basically, only three percent people studying in India ,also ,those having 97 percentile and above are the ones who prepare and study well. It is quite evident if one has given any one of the examinations at any point in life. However, job opportunities are so small in number in government sector that even those three percent are not accomodated fully and for them struggle continues. That should be the main concern, i.e to create jobs in psu and in govt. Companies.

  5. Basically, only three percent people studying in India also those having 97 percentile and above are the ones who prepare and study well. It is quite evident if one has given any one of the examinations at any point in life. However, job opportunities are so small in number in government sector that even those three percent are not accomodated gully and for them struggle continues. That should be the main concern, i.e to create jobs in psu and in govt. Companies.

  6. IIT students (especially the undergraduates from general category) deserve this because they are among the best not only in India , but the whole freaking world. The government is right in spending money on the students whose intellect has been proven in the past 50 years. If the mediocre students from other institutes had any potential, we would have seen many of such alumni from mediocre schools in top positions all over the world. Instead of getting burned by such facts, the mediocre and jealous people should work hard and pay their taxes so that the government can continue to find such institutes.

  7. This is ridiculous. I find this ridiculously biased. If this continues in our country country will never progress. after all, equal opportunity for everyone is what Gandhiji has dreamed about independent India. It is like parents have two children one is smart and other is bit weak who needs more support smarter will anyway succeed the weaker one should get more attention.

  8. These students are the cream of cream and if you deprive funding, the general category students would all go abroad for further education. Thus causing massive brain drain and also valuable loss of foreign exchange.

  9. who the hell r u to pointing in iits student. Eace and every student in iit deserve that much govt. fund. According to ur news iits total revenue is multiple time greater then the govt. alloted fund. Don’t even think that “why iits get the most ?” just remember this 3% students represent India in a international level .

  10. This is very very old issue. Since 80s, I am hearing about it. IITs alone were getting more fund than combined of 250 universities at that time. No surprise, if the trend is still continuing. In fact, IIts should be asked to generate more revenue to govt and themselves by using their academic and technical prowess. Yes, funding to IITs must be reduced.

  11. The students of civil engineering cleared GATE exams recently and qualified for Mtech not getting seats in NITs why? This was happening for general category students which is not correct

  12. Most of the students join higher education in overseas. So the entire amount that has been incurred by the GOI goes waste.

    Now it is high time to Provide more funds to the other institutes so that right faculty will be employed and in turn produce high calibre students

  13. IIT’S and other above mentioned premier institutes students are the top brain of the country and they’re the asset of the nation. It’s a duty of the country to teach and trained them with world class skills and technology so that they could enable himself to cope with any requirement and challenge before the nation. These days technology and idea is running the world therefore it is not appropriate for the nation to lag in technological innovation and exepertis. As I feel the country should bear all expenses of their study ultimately they are nucleus of the development of the country.

    These days a general IITian student have to paid about 2.60 Lacs per annum. What a expectations could anyone should make to pay by gurdian of IITian student. It should be absolutely free for the best of nation.

  14. It is often talked of ranking of Institutes or universities without deliberately or otherwise overlooking the other forms of laurels won by universities rather than so called Institutes of eminence. Note that Nobel prizes won by India are of contributions of state universities, even Bhatnagar Award, known as Indian Nobel are massively won by universities. Fact is that so called experts , Non real experts are controlling due to obvious reasons the education sector. As a result we are best copy masters and any innovators.
    Funding should or measure of eminence should and ought to be based on productivity and absolutely not on products /productions. I gave a theory of this in my book ‘Changes for Technical Education’
    Yes, budget for education needs to be raised. But allocation needs to be rationalized, logical and productivity based to get results oriented outputs.

  15. These few premier institute should also generate 50% of the money from their students and alumni and by offering some self financing courses. Also, there is need to increase funding for other government educational institutes for and enhancing their research capability. Basically, all government run universities should charge real fees from those can pay.

  16. It is a meaning less comparison and some mistakes in statistics chech the no of seats in iits and nits according to you they are more are less same

    • Really? What about those who worked hard for other courses such as architecture, law, designing? Basically you are saying these students are unworthy and only because of the IITians this country is running.

      • Yes.
        If country requires IITians, make more of them available. Open a lot of IITs. Make most of the people IITians. There may be a lot of non iitians who are more fit to be IITians. They can be found and be available.
        We opened lot of engg colleges. Students who missed the rank playfully, or without coaching or hard work, later did well to serve far superior. Some would have given employment to IITians.
        India is now able to source a lot of software and hardware engineers, apart from others. So more IITs, more IITians. If rank is low, go to a low ranking IIT, and there you do better. If funds are not there, IITs and IITians can generate.

  17. Spending so much funds on just 3% students and out of these most of them going out of India. Nation spending too much and we don’t utilise our talent, it’s put the question mark over Govt policy.

  18. In case of medical only AIMMS and JIPMER get the required funding. These central govt institutions are given better hostel and access to library with low fees. The other colleges under state neither get any benefits though AIQ is given to centre nor are they even checked for compliance of availability of hostel or canteen or access to good labs. The fees in govt colleges like BMC are increased at the wims and fancies of state govt. 200% hike with non existant canteen or play ground. Such a shame

  19. This has been the complaint for last 5 decades. But like a mother of pampered child government neglected other 300 hundred university ies and poured funds. One more point neglected is that 80 to 90 % students from these esteemed institution go abroad and settle. Neglecting the country and even old parents.

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