Over 40 years after the country set a target of increasing spending on education to six per cent of GDP, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday hoped that this would be achieved in the next couple of years.
“It is my sincere hope that in the next couple of years we can get public sector involvement and investment in education to six per cent of our GDP and also public sector investment in health sector... from about 1.5 per cent to 2-2.5 per cent of GDP,” he said at the 25th edition of the India Economic Summit that is being attended by industry captains from world over.
Replying to a question on what were the two issues that were close to his heart, Singh said: “Of all the programme areas, the closest to my heart are education and health sector. We should have done a lot more on these two areas. We were late in this process.”
The Kothari Committee on Education had, in its report in 1966, proposed stepping up public spending on education to six per cent of GDP within a decade.
In the budget estimates of 2007-08, the country’s expenditure on education was only 3.67 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.