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The Kothari Commission and Financing of Education

The Education Commission (1964-66) chaired by D S Kothari made a valuable set of recommendations on financing education in India, many of which are still relevant for education planning but have not received much official attention. A review of the premises of the recommendations, the visionary approach adopted by the commission and their current relevance are attempted in this paper and will hopefully be useful for the preparation of the Eleventh Plan.

The Kothari Commission and Financing of Education


Economic and Political WeeklyMarch 10, 2007875by levels and objects, (b) a detailed source-wise analysis of funds,(c) unit cost analysis, and (d) a detailed estimate of resourcesrequired for education for the next 20 years in constant prices.Both the detailed framework provided and the insightful analysismade were of great significance and use for the researchers ineconomics and financing of education and for educational plan-ners as well.7 The commission in fact, noted the absence ofstudies and the critical need for such studies, and recommendedsupport to universities for research in these areas.8Allocation to Education: Six Per Cent of GNPOf all, the most important recommendation made by thecommission on financing of education refers to allocation of 6per cent of national income to education.9 The commission madea detailed analysis of the past trends in financing education inthe post-independence period, estimated the financial require-ments of the educational system in India up to 1985-86, andrecommended that “if education is to develop adequately, …theproportion of GNP allocated to education will rise … to 6.0 percent in 1985-86” (p 893). Of the several recommendations madeby the commission, this 6 per cent of GNP is one that was acceptedand resolved by the government of India (1968) in the NationalPolicy on Education (NPE) 1968 “to increase the investment ineducation so as to reach a level of expenditure of 6 per cent ofthe national income as early as possible” (p 9). Since the goalcould not be reached, the government of India reiterated in 1986its commitment to reach the target and stated in the NPE 1968:“It will be ensured that from the Eighth Five-Year Plan onwardsit (the outlay on education) will uniformly exceed to 6 per centof the national income” [Government of India 1986: 29]. Giventhe inadequate performance, the goal was to be reiterated againin the NPE (revised) 1992. The review committee on NationalPolicy on Education [also familiarly known as the AcharyaRamamurti Committee 1990] made it clear that 6 per cent ofnational income should be devoted to education. The long under-accomplishment of the goal led the government to repeatedlyreiterate the promise in subsequent years in every Five-Year Plan,in every policy statement, economic survey(s), reports of theministry of education/human resource development, reports ofseveral committees/commissions on education, and even in theIndependence Day speeches of the PM from the ramparts of theRed Fort. Almost all political party manifestos and other agendasalso endorsed this recommendation. All this shows some kindof a consensus among all in India towards fulfilling the recom-mendation of the commission.However, the most often-cited recommendation is also subjectto some controversies. Attempts were made to provide subverteddefinition and scope to the terms such as national income,educational expenditure, and 6 per cent and to misinterpret theletter and the spirit of the recommendation of the commission,the resolution of NPE 1968 and the NPE 1986, and finally toargue that India already spends about or more than 6 per centof GNP on education, and we need not worry any more aboutthis target. Significant attempts of this kind include, amongothers, a paper circulated by the Planning Commission [Kolhatkar1988],10 the national agenda of the BJP and alliance partners(1988),11 the draft Ninth Five-Year Plan of the Planning Com-mission (1999, p 101) and the Economic Survey of the ministryof finance (1999).12 They tried to argue that the 6 per cent ofnational income, as recommended by the commission, consistedof not just government expenditure, but also all private expen-diture including family expenditure on education and privatesector expenditure, and even to show that as the goal is alreadyover-achieved, it becomes redundant, and that it does notdeserveattention any more.As Tilak (1990, 1999, 2006) has shown, all these were attemptsto misinterpret the facts, to quantitatively under-define the goals,to cover our dismal failures and to boast at our (pseudo) achieve-ments. Tilak has further shown that these attempts have deli-berately ignored the fact that the commission had referred mainlyto public expenditure, and that the UNESCO and other inter-national statistics that the commission used as a yardstick forcomparison also refer to government expenditure only, and therecommendations made by the UNESCO, UNDP, the DelorsCommission, etc, in subsequent years refer to government ex-penditure alone. Anand Sarup, former education secretary, whowas involved in the preparation of the critical review of educationin India, titled ‘Challenge of Education’[Government of India1985],and in the formulation of the NPE 1986 made the pointclear. In a paper, circulated in a meeting at the Planning Com-mission, and later published elsewhere, Sarup (1988) stated,“Since it is public policy on education that is the crucial deter-minant of available educational places and opportunities in ourcountry, it (6 per cent) is the Centre and State expenditure oneducation that is used for policy planning and implementation.This includes both plan and non-plan outlays” (p 253; emphasisadded). Thus, it is clear that the attempts to redefine and rein-terpret the commission’s recommendation were to divert publicattention from the very need to substantially increase the publicallocations to education. Finally, the controversy seems to havebeen buried recently with the common minimum programme ofthe UPA government (2004) pledging “to raise public spendingin education to at least 6 per cent of the GDP”.13The second criticism of this recommendation is that this wasnot based on any sound basis and hence no sanctity needs to beattached to this recommendation. A careful look at the reportshows that such a criticism is not tenable. The commissioncarefully reviewed in detail the trends in the expenditure oneducation in the past and based on certain reasonable assumptionsregarding economic growth (6 per cent) and population growth(2.1 per cent per annum) during the next 20-year period, itestimated the magnitude of the resources that should be availablefor educational development in India in the next 20 years. It isa detailed analysis of estimating the requirements of the system.It noted, “the proportion of national income devoted to educationin India is small in comparison with that in educationally ad-vanced countries of the world” (p 860). It compared the estimateof requirement with the corresponding figures of some specificcountries, available in the UNESCO statistics: “Japan and theUSA and the USSR are spending considerably more than 6 percent of GNP on education” (p 860); and they spent no more thana small fraction of their GNP on education at the beginning ofthe century. The commission also felt that these countriesmightbespending about 10 per cent of GNP by 1986, and infact more than 10 per cent, if comprehensive disarmamenttakesplace. It further noted that “the absolute amount per capitaspent by us on education is about one-hundred of that spent bya highly industrialised country like the USA”. Methodological,including conceptual and definitional aspects of educationalexpenditure and the details of the analysis and the targets ofthecommission are unambiguously clear. The rationale providedfor its recommendation was also sound and it also gaveenoughtimeto the government for reaching the goal, providinga 20-year period.Some also found that the target of the 6 per cent of GNP wasan ambitious one. But the commission felt that normally expen-diture on education should grow at a rate of growth double to



( )7.9 5.8 6.9 5.0 3.3 2.7 3.5 4.9 6.2 Mean: 6.9 Mean: 3.7 Mean: 4.9


Elementary Adult Secondary Higher Technical
0 20 40 60 80 100

1950-51 1960-61 1970-71 1980-81 1986-87


Economic and Political WeeklyMarch 10, 2007878salary of the primary schoolteacher should be comparable to thatof a public servant; it should be three-four times the per capitaGNP. In case of teachers in higher education, it recommendeda national salary structure. University teachers should receivethe equivalent of what senior (IAS) officers in government serviceget. The government acted upon this recommendation ratherpromptly for various reasons. Teacher’s salaries have beenupgraded, though not to the extent suggested by the commission.Important items of expenditure in education include teachers’salaries, recurring expenditure on “non-teacher” salary items, andcapital expenditure for construction of buildings and purchaseof major equipment. In case of school education, the commissionconsidered the need to provide schools within reach of thechildren and evolved reasonable criteria like maximum distancea child can travel to reach a school. Though the commissionrecommended that an amount equivalent to 20 per cent of theteachers’ salaries should be allocated to non-teacher costs, it didnot seem to have paid sufficient attention to the provision offacilities within the schools, though it recognised that childrendrop out of schools as the schools are not able to attract themenough. In fact, the commission felt poverty of the parents wasas a major reason for children dropping out of schools. Therefore,it recommended continuation and setting up of new single-teacherschools, part-time primary education, etc, and did not feel theneed to improve the school environment substantially. If at allthis was recognised, it was left to district boards and munici-palities to provide for infrastructure facilities; or they were simplytaken as understood. As a result, many single-teacher schoolsand schools with poor infrastructure facilities continued to groweven during the post-commission period. Consequently, the deficitin expenditure on these items went on increasing, necessitatingthe countrywide launch of the massively expensive operationblackboard programme, as recommended in the NPE 1986.Among the several items, the commission focused on two majoritems, one is scholarships for students and the other, improvementof quality in higher education and research.ScholarshipsOne of the important items of expenditure that the commissionpaid serious attention to was scholarships for students – as amechanism of searching and nurturing talent, and as a mechanismof equalisation of educational opportunities. The commissionfavoured expansion of scholarship programme – specificallyexpansion of the programme of national scholarships and expan-sion of the programmes of scholarships for the backward classes(pp 206-21and pp 918-19). It has recommended clear quan-titative norms on the percentage of students to receive scholar-ships and the amounts as well. It felt that 2.5 per cent of thestudents at primary level should get scholarships (at the rate ofRs 60 per annum). Scholarships should be provided to at least5 per cent of the students at secondary level (at the rate of Rs150 per annum), and 30 per cent of the students enrolled invocational education (at the rate of Rs 300-400 per annum). Inhigher education, the commission recommended that 25 per centof the students in undergraduate courses in arts and commerce(at the rate of Rs75 per month), 50 per cent of the students inundergraduate courses in science and professional courses (at therate of Rs 125 per month), and 50 per cent of the students enrolledin postgraduate courses (at the rate of Rs 300 per month) shouldbe provided with scholarships. In addition, the commission rec-ommended increase in the number of national (merit) scholar-ships to about ten per cent of the students, and a wider coverageof university scholarships.Though the amounts may have to vary, given the change inthe value of money, the proportion of students to receive scholar-ships, suggested by the commission seem to be still relevant.Presently only an insignificantly small fraction of studentsreceivescholarships. The purpose of the scholarship programme,as envisaged by the commission was to search and nurture talentand also to promote equity in the system. On both counts thereis need to expand the present scholarship programme.23In higher education, though the commission did not find anyadvantage of loan scholarships over that of outright scholarships,it recommended a liberal programme of loan scholarships tosupplement the national and university scholarships (p 218). Butit is important to note that “since an exclusive programme ofloan scholarships is non-egalitarian”, it recommended loan scholar-ship programme to supplement a massively expanded programmeof outright scholarships. A national loan scholarship scheme waslaunched in the subsequent years on the lines suggested. Thecommission was aware of the innumerable problems loan scholar-ships might create in recoveries and also the hardships they causestudents. The problem of recovery was later found to be so severethat the programme was to be abandoned in the late 1980s andwas to be replaced by a normal student loan programme in theearly 1990s, operated by the commercial banks.24Higher Education and ResearchThe commission has laid special emphasis on higher educationand research, as it strongly believed that it is higher educationand research that will contribute to economic development, andto bridge the gap between the rich countries and India. Specifi-cally, it suggested larger allocations to the UGC for a few specialprogrammes that will promote quality and excellence in highereducation and research. For example, it recommended (p 905)creation of new centres/schools in universities, and extra financialsupport to some specific activities. The important ones thatreceived its attention include (a) creation of centres of advancedstudy and major universities, (b) creation of schools of educationin a few selected universities, (c) promotion of postgraduateeducation and research, (d) provision of maintenance grant tostate universities, (e) establishment of central testing organisation,(f) development of literature in modern Indian languages,(g)development of agricultural, engineering and medical edu-cation, and (h) promotion of educational research on all sectorsof education. The commission also recommended that UGC andstate governments share the responsibility of providing deve-lopment grants to universities (p 634).Some of these recommendations were followed up, thoughthere might yet be a lot to do. The commission’s recommendationsthat UGC provide maintenance grants to state universities, andthat both UGC and state governments provide development grantsto state universities did not receive any attention. UGC continuesto provide only development grants to state universities and stategovernments tend to limit their grants to maintenance purposes.Role of the State and Other Sources of FundsThe commission was emphatic that most of the responsibilityfor the support of education should be on government funds(p870) and not on the private sector. It rightly predicted andfavoured, a big fall in the total revenue from fees. This wasbecause it rightly stressed the need to provide free and compulsoryeducation – free education up to grade X and provision of free-studentships in higher secondary and higher education, andexpansion of scholarships at all levels of education. It also
Economic and Political WeeklyMarch 10, 2007879predicted that income from other sources (donations, etc), wouldnot rise much and that local bodies would not be able to providemore than a very small percentage of the total expenditure, evenafter they have made the best effort to raise their contribution.As a result, “the funds of the central and state governments wouldhave to bear about 90 per cent (or even more) of the totaleducational expenditure” (p 870).Over the years we do notice that these predictions came trueas far as the decline in the relative share of fees and other sourcesis concerned. The relative shares of fees, local bodies and “other”sources declined and the relative share of the government hasincreased in total expenditure on education. However, the latterhas not reached the level of 90 per cent as recommended by thecommission. Though in case of school education the share ofthe government seems to be around or above 90 per cent, thisis not the case in higher education, as the trends shown in Figure4indicate.25 In recent years, it appears, the trends are getting furtherdisturbed, with the decline in the relative share of the governmentand a steep increase in the share of student fees, particularly inhigher education [Tilak and Rani 2003].The commission went further and pleaded for a larger role forthe union government in financing education. While the centreand states should meet 90 per cent of the total expenditure oneducation, the central government should assume primary respon-sibility and the states were to have the “residual responsibilityto finance education” (p 904). Though elementary education wasin the state list, the commission favoured larger role of the centralgovernment in funding elementary education. As Naik (1975,p 92) reiterated, drawing from the report, “it will not be possiblefor any state government to raise all the resources required fora programme of universal elementary education. It is, therefore,necessary to introduce a central grant earmarked for elementaryeducation on the basis of equalisation.”Though the commission argued for a larger responsibility ofthe central government in financing education, it was not in favourof changing the constitutional provisions regarding the role ofcentre and states in education. It clearly favoured continuationof education in the state list in the Constitution and felt that “thereis plenty of scope, within the present constitutional arrangement,to evolve a workable centre-state partnership in education andthis has not been exploited to the full” (p 830). As has beenmentioned earlier, the commission took a holistic view on everyaspect of education, rather than looking at different levels ofeducation in different compartments. It stated this clearly in thecontext of centre-state relations in education, “We are not infavour of fragmenting education and putting one part in theconcurrent and the other in the state list; education should, underany circumstances, be treated as a whole” (p 829).Contrary to what the commission suggested, education wasmade a concurrent subject with the 42nd amendment to theConstitution of India in 1976, though one fails to note anysignificant increase in the role of the centre in financing educationin the following years [Tilak 1989]. It was only since 1986 afterthe formulation of the NPE, the centre began assuming increasingrole in financing of elementary education and contrary to theconstitutional provisions there has been a diminution in therelative role of the centre in higher education in the areas of policyformulation, planning and financing! [Tilak 2004].Centrally Sponsored SectorThe larger responsibility of the central government should take,according to the commission, the form of expansion of the centraland centrally sponsored sectors (pp 894-95). The commissionadvocated that for any programme to be included in the centraland in the centrally sponsored sectors (pp 908-09), it should beof crucial importance and national in character. Programmeswhich need the adoption of a common policy in all parts of thecountry should preferably be included in the centrally sponsoredsector. The commission also advocated dividing the total fundsavailable in the centrally sponsored sector into two parts: abouthalf of them being allocated to national programmes, and theother half should be made available to the states on some principleof equality. The states should be free to use the later kind offunds, with the approval of the union government, for any schemewhich is significant and urgent in their local situations. It madeyet another important recommendation: central assistance forcentrally sponsored schemes should be non-relapsable and shouldbe available to the states on a five-year basis rather than on thebasis of a plan period and for some important schemes in thecentrally sponsored sector, the assistance may even be continuedfor a longer period, say 10 years.Grants-in-aid to Local BodiesIn a supplementary note, the commission has suggested adetailed mechanism of grants-in-aid to local bodies – district levelbodies and municipalities (pp 902-09), in such a way that grants-in-aid to local authorities would stimulate local contributions toeducation. It recommended that “the assistance of the localcommunities should be fully harnessed for improving the physicalfacilities in schools” (p 872). The state government should providefor 100 per cent teacher grants, block grants per child to meetnon-teacher costs, and separate grants for non-recurring expen-diture. The commission nevertheless realised that the local bodiesmay not be able to generate more than a very small amount ontheir own, despite their best efforts. The objective of the grantsto the local bodies should be to ensure equality in expenditureper student and thereby to equalise educational opportunities. Italso suggested that every school should continue to receive themaintenance grant (with a provision for cut if the institution failsto perform), on some egalitarian basis, so that all schools comeup to a minimum level of performance, and those schools thatdo good work should receive additionally a special “jam” grant[Naik 1979:143].Experience shows that the state grants to local bodies have notbeen able to stimulate generation of resources by the local bodies.The commission was right in predicting that local bodies wouldnot be able to mobilise any significant amount of resources ontheir own, given the limited resource base, and competing needsof various sectors. Thirdly, there are wide disparities in educa-tional development in general and educational expenditure percapita or per student between several districts and blocks.26Fees and Cost RecoveryThe commission had a clear and progressive understanding ofthe role of fees in education and its implications. It stated, “Itis undesirable to regard [fees] as a source of revenue. They arethe most regressive form of taxation, fall more heavily on thepoorer classes of society and act as an anti-egalitarian force”(p202). It also dismissed a “progressive” or a discriminatory feesystem based on economic levels of the students/their familiesas it “would not be administratively feasible and, … their yieldwould be almost negligible” (p 202).Recognising the constitutional provisions, the commissionreaffirmed the importance of providing free and compulsoryeducation of a common school system. There was no case of levy
Economic and Political WeeklyMarch 10, 2007880of any fees at primary stage, though the commission was con-fronted with arguments in favour of levying fees. After all, itwas a constitutional commitment. The commission was not contentsimply to note that free education meant only tuition fee-freeeducation and provision of free textbooks, but felt constrainedto recommend (a) abolition of all kinds of fees in primary schoolsand (b) provision of incentives such as free stationery, uniforms,school meals, etc. The then prevailing economic conditionsseemed to have prevented the commission from making any suchrecommendation. These compulsions are clear. It however,recommended free education up to grade X and provision of freestudentships in higher secondary and higher education. It alsorecommended all vocational education to be provided free. Withrespect to other levels of education also, the commission did notactually favour levy of fees; but it could not recommend againstfee. In case of secondary education, though it agreed to thesuggestion to levy of fees at higher secondary level as a pragmaticsolution to the problem of resource scarcity, it did note veryclearly that “the levy of fees in secondary schools prevents severalchildren from the poorer classes of society, and particularly girls,from receiving education” (p 203). So it argued that in highersecondary and higher education, every attempt should be madetoextend free education to cover all needy and deserving students.With respect to higher education, the commission found thatthe then existing levels of fee contributions (as a proportion oftotal revenues) were much higher in India than in the education-ally advanced and richer counter such as US and UK. Thecommission’s forward-looking progressive policies withrespect tofees in higher education are worth noting, “We do not advocatethe immediate general abolition of fees in higher education,although this should be the ultimate goal of educational policy....for the next 10 years, the main effort with regard to fees inhigher secondary and university education should be to expandtheprovision of tuition-free education to cover all the needy anddeserving students. To begin with, the proportion of free-student-ships should be increased to at lest 30 per cent of the totalenrolment.We also commend, for general acceptance, policies which havebeen adopted in some areas to provide tuition-free higher edu-cation to underprivileged groups” (p 204; emphasis added).Nowadays fees are regarded as one of the most commonmeasures of mobilising finances for education. In fact, studentfees are being seen as a major potential source of funds. Butconfronted with the need to ensure that weaker sections of thesociety do not get neglected, often a programme consisting oflevy of fees along with concessions and exemptions to needystudents is proposed. This has been quite common. But thecommission did not find merit in such arguments. The commis-sion observed, “such a system does not have much to commenditself and involves several administrative difficulties” (p 203).The commission also felt no need for any cost recoverymechanisms. In fact, in the long run education would becomeself-financing, not of course as being contemplated nowadays.The commission observed, “in the long run education to someextent is self-financing because the increased incomes generatedbya relatively better educated labour force would provide resourcesfor greater allocation to education…additional resource aregenerated through the process of economic growth” (p 889). Thisis what Mishan (1969) also observed in a similar context, “highereducation is an investment and will pay for itself; and will increasethe earnings of the beneficiary students and the government willrecover its costs through consequent higher tax receipts.” Thecommission has clearly recognised the significant economiccontribution of education, when it observed, “the fact that edu-cation tends to augment the flow of national product, though withsome time-lag, [and this] is of crucial importance” (p 889).Having noted that parents were required to incur “very heavyexpenditure” on education, it suggested quite a few mechanismsof mitigating household costs on education, such as strengtheningof the provision of free textbooks at primary stage, launchingof a programme of book-banks at secondary stage and provisionof book-grants in higher education.The evidence on the practice of fees in education in the laterperiod is in quite contrast to what the commission recommended.Fee, including tuition fee, besides many other types of fees, werecontinued to be charged in government, local body, government-aided schools at primary level [Tilak 1996a]; fee levels in sec-ondary education have been on the rise; and fees in highereducation are going up [Tilak and Rani 2003].The commission also argued against over dependence on privatesector in education development [Naik 1979: 30]. The commis-sion felt that private sector has a limited and minor role in thenational education system. It pleaded for control of privateenterprise in education. Again, this suggestion is also not caredfor very much by the government and in fact, this was opposedstrongly. An unbridled growth of private education at all levelsof education has been allowed, with all its ramifications.Other Norms and RecommendationsA few other norms that were adopted by the commission, whichhave serious financial implications may be noted as follows:First the pupil-teacher ratios. Though for pragmatic reasons,the commission had adopted higher pupil-teacher ratios in es-timating the resource requirements, it desired that to ensurereasonably good quality of education, the pupil-teacher ratio inprimary education be 30 and 35 in higher primary schools. Inlower secondary education it should be 25 students per everyteacher and 20 in higher secondary education. In case ofsecondary/vocational education the desirable ratio suggested was one teacherper every 11 students. The commission suggested such normsfor higher education as well – one teacher for every 15 studentson average in undergraduate courses and eight students inpostgraduate courses. Many of these norms are still relevant incontemporary educational planning. The present norms and thecurrent actual pupil-teacher ratios are much higher than the normssuggested by the commission.Secondly, the commission realised the importance of voca-tional education and also to reduce pressures on higher education.It recommended a high degree of vocationalisation of education:20 per cent of the total enrolments at secondary level, 50 percent at higher secondary level and 30 per cent at higher educationneed to be in vocational streams. Further, it argued that 60 percent of the students in higher education should be enrolled inprofessional and sciences courses.Though the government often expressed in subsequent yearsits desire to vocationalise secondary education, the progress isnot satisfactory. The reason is, fundamentally vocational edu-cation has been looked down upon and planned as second rate,cheap education for the poor. As a result, it suffered from bothdemand and supply side constraints. Vocational courses wereintroduced in colleges in the recent years. In all, the targets setby the commission still seem to be elusive to reach even in thenear future after 40 years, as no serious attempts were made inthis direction.Thirdly, the commission favoured promotion of excellence atall levels of education. Ten per cent of the schools at every levelwere to be provided with additional resources so that they functionat optimal level of quality to become “pace-setting” institutions!
Economic and Political WeeklyMarch 10, 2007882Council of Educational Research and Training, etc.9A similar recommendation was made by the Kher Committee (1951) asearly as 1950 that the government of India should spend about 10 percent of its total revenue on education.10This was also circulated as a paper from the Planning Commission.11The National Agenda for Governance (BJP and Alliance Partners, 1998,p5) has promised to “formulate and implement plans to gradually increasethe governmental and non-governmental spending on education upto 6per cent of the GDP” (emphasis added).12The Economic Survey (1998-99) stated: “Financing of education – increasein government and non-government spending on education, and bringingthis up to 6 per cent GDP level” (p 150).13For the first time, the terms “national income” and “GNP” were replacedby gross domestic product (GDP) in the statement. This was also mentionedin the Economic Survey 2004-05.14Interestingly, the recommendation to regulate the growth of higher educationwas opposed by many, but this figured as an important objective ofeducational planning in the Fourth and Fifth Five-Year Plans, given therising rates of graduate unemployment, which was also noted by thecommission. The concern of the commission on unemployment led toa full-fledged study on the problem [e g, Blaug et al 1969].15For example, Tilak (1994) estimated that it would be above 8 per cent.16Author’s calculations based on Education in India and Analysis of BudgetExpenditure on Education (various years) of the ministry of education/human resource development, government of India.17That the proportion declined during the economic reform period is notedby many. For example, see Tilak (1996b) and Sadgopal (2004).18Naik (1979) however lists it among the recommendations that attractedlimited attention (pp 59-60).19Based on Five-Year Plan(s), and Analysis of Annual Plan(s) of theeducation division, Planning Commission, government of India.20Based on Five-Year Plan(s) and Analysis of Annual Plan(s) of the educationdivision, Planning Commission, government of India.21Primary education, according to the commission, includes lower primaryand higher primary education, i e, up to Grade VII/VIII, which is nowadaysbeing referred to as elementary education.22Quoted in Desai (1953, p 57).23It is only in the most recent months that the UGC has launched a specialresearch fellowship programme for weaker sections.24For a review of the national loan scholarship scheme, see Tilak (1992).25Based on Education in India (various years), ministry of education/humanresource development, New Delhi.26See several papers in Tilak (1986b).27Committee of members of Parliament [quoted in J P Naik, 1979, p 140).28Unfortunately many of these recommendations, including the strongrecommendation of the commission for the adoption of the common schoolsystem have been conveniently relegated to the dustbin. See Kamat (1985,p 133).ReferencesAcharya Ramamurti Committee (1990) Government of India: Towards anEnlightened and Human Society: NPE 1986: A Review, Report of theCommittee for Review of National Policy on Education 1986 [Chairman:Acharya Ramamurti], Government of India Press, Faridabad.Adiseshiah, M S (1994): ‘Education: The Normative (Kothari) Frame andthe Actual’ in R C Mehrotra and R K Arora (eds), Education, Scienceand Human Values: Essays in Honour of Professor D S Kothari, WileyEastern, New Delhi, pp 120-38.BJP and Alliance Partners (1998): National Agenda for Governance: Closingthe Gap between People’s Aspirations and Government’s Performance,New Delhi.Blaug, Mark Richard Layard and Maureen Woodhall (1969): The Causesof Graduate Unemployment in India, Allen Lane the Penguin, London.Burgess, T, Richard Layard and Pitambar Pant (1968): Manpower andEducational Development in India 1961-1986, Oliver and Boyd, London.Delors Commission (1996): Learning the Treasure Within: Report to UNESCOof the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-FirstCentury (Chairperson: Jacques Delors), UNESCO, Paris.Desai, D M (1953): Universal, Compulsory and Free Primary Educationin India, Indian Institute of Education, Bombay.Education Commission (1966): Education and National Development: Reportof the Education Commission 1964-66, Government of India, Ministryof Education [Reprint by the National Council of Educational Researchand Training, March 1971], New Delhi.Government of India (1968): National Policy on Education 1968, Ministryof Education, New Delhi.– (1985): Challenge of Education, Ministry of Education, Government ofIndia, New Delhi.– (1986): National Policy on Education 1986, Ministry of Human ResourceDevelopment, New Delhi.– (2005):Report of the Committee on National Common Minimum Programme’sCommitment to Six Per cent of GDP to Education, National Institute ofEducational Planning and Administration, New Delhi.Kamat, A R (1985):Education and Social Change in India, Somaiya, Bombay.Kher Committee (1951): Report of the Committee on the RelationshipbetweenState Governments and Local Bodies in the Administration ofPrimary Education (Chairman: B G Kher), Government of India,NewDelhi.Kolhatkar, M R (1988): ‘Education Expenditure in India in Relation toNational Income (1980-88): Trends and Implications’,Journal of Educationand Social Change, 2(2).Ministry of Finance (1999): Economic Survey 1998-99, Ministry of Finance,Government of India, New Delhi.Mishan, Edward J (1969): ‘Some Heretical Thoughts on UniversityReform:The Economics of Changing the System’, Encounter, 32 (3),March, pp3-15.Naik, J P (1975): Elementary Education in India: A Promise to Keep, Allied,Bombay.– (1979): The Education Commission and After, New Delhi [Second edition,APH Publishing Corporation, New Delhi, 1997].Planning Commission (1999): Ninth Five-Year Plan 1997-2002 (Draft),VolII, Government of India, New Delhi.Sadgopal, Anil (2004): ‘Globalisation and Education: Defining the Crisis’,XVI Zakir Husain Memorial Lecture, New Delhi.Sarup, Anand (1988): ‘Planning for Educational Development’ in AmrikSingh and G D Sharma (eds), Higher Education in India: The SocialContext, Konark, Delhi, pp 252-62.Shah, K R (2006): ‘State Inaction in Education in India’,Journal of EducationalPlanning and Administration, 20 (3), October.Schultz, T W (1961): ‘Investment in Human Capital’, American EconomicReview, 51 (1), March 1-15.Tapas Majumdar Committee (2005): See also the Report of the Committeeon National Common Minimum Programme’s Commitment to Six PerCentof GDP to Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, NewDelhi, (November) [Chairman: Tapas Majumdar] [ per cent20report.pdf].Tilak, Jandhyala B G (1984): ‘Political Economy of Investment in Educationin South Asia’, International Journal of Educational Development,4(2):155-66.– (1986a): ‘Political Economy of Investment in Education in South Asia:AReply’, International Journal of Educational Development, 6 (3): 209-14.– (ed) (1986b): Education and Regional Development, Yatan Publications,New Delhi.– (1989): ‘Centre-State Relations in Financing Education in India’,ComparativeEducational Review, 33 (4) November, pp 450-80.– (1990): ‘Expenditure on Education in India’, Journal of Education andSocial Change, Vol IV, No 2, July-September, pp 62-69.– (1992): ‘Student Loans in Financing Higher Education in India’, HigherEducation, 23 (4), June, pp 389-404.– (1994): Resource Requirements of Education in India: Implications for theTenth Finance Commission (report prepared for the Government of India),National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, NewDelhi,– (1996a): ‘How Free Is ‘Free’ Primary Education in India?’, Economic andPolitical Weekly, 31 (5 and 6) (February 3 and 10): 275-82; and 355-66.– (1996b): ‘Higher Education under Structural Adjustment’, Journal of IndianSchool of Political Economy, 8 (2) (April-June): 266-93.– (1999): ‘National Human Development Initiative: Education in the UnionBudget’, Economic and Political Weekly, March 6, 614-20.– (2001): ‘Education and Development: Lessons from Asian Experience’,Indian Social Science Review, ICSSR, New Delhi, 3 (2) (July-December):219-66.– (2003): ‘State, Households and Markets in Education’, Malcolm AdiseshiahMemorial Lecture, Madras Inst of Development Studies, Chennai.– (2004): ‘Absence of Policy and Perspective in Higher Education’, Economicand Political Weekly, 39 (21), May 22, pp 2159-64.– (2006): ‘On Allocating 6 Per Cent GDP to Education’, Economic andPolitical Weekly, 41 (7), February 18, pp 613-18.Tilak, J B G, Geeta Rani (2003): ‘Changing Pattern of University Financesin India’, Journal of Services Research, 2 (2), (October 2002 – March2003), pp 5-46.UPA Government (2004): ‘Common Minimum Programme’, UnitedProgressive Alliance, New Delhi, May [].

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