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India spends 0.1% of GDP on early childhood education: Study



The government expenditure in India on early childhood education (ECE) for children between the age group of three years and six years is a mere 0.1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the average spend per child of INR 8,297 per annum is at least a fourth of desired levels, according to a new study.

The research conducted jointly by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) and commissioned by Save The Children, a humanitarian aid organisation, was released recently. It claims to be the first-ever attempt to estimate the cost of universalisation of ECE services in India.

The report states that the Union government and state governments allocated 0.1% of the GDP in the financial year 2020-2021 which was equivalent to 0.39% of the country’s total budgetary outlay.

The analysis by CBGA also estimates that public provisioning for ECE in India was to the tune of INR 25,000 crore. The all India average per-child allocation is INR 8,297. However, allocation varies across states and was the lowest in Meghalaya (INR 3,792) and the highest in Himachal Pradesh (INR 34,758).