Private and Public Expenditure on Education in India

Trend over last Seven Decades and impact on Economy




This paper examined the trends in private and public expenditure on education in India during the last seven decades. The analysis is based on public expenditure on education compiled by Ministry of Education, Government of India, that includes expenditure incurred by education department as well as by all other departments on education and training-related programmes and activities. The private final consumption expenditure (PFCE) on education as estimated by the national accounts and statistics (NAS) is the base for private expenditure on education. It is observed from the analysis that India’s spending on education reached its peak in the recent past. Public and private expenditure on education are respectively equivalent to 3.9% and 2.7% of its GDP in 2018-19. Together, the country’s spending on education is equivalent to 6.6% of GDP. A notable trend over the past three decades is that private expenditure on education is growing faster than that of the public. The ratio of public to private in terms of expenditure on education has declined during this period. This reflects increasing privatisation of education in India, and has far reaching policy implications.


Public Expenditure on Education, Private Expenditure on Education, Financing Education, Privatisation of Education


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Authors Bio

Venkatanarayana Motkuri , Centre for Economic and Social Studies

Venkatanarayana Motkuri is Associate Professor and Coordinator, Research Cell on Education (RSEPPG) at Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS)

E Revathi, Centre for Economic and Social Studies

E. Revathi, Ph.D is Professor and Director, CESS, Hyderabad.


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