'''Public finance and budget public finance public expenditure - Activity 1.'''

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Activity - Name of Activity

Discussion on public financing of public goods such as education, in the context of a developing country like India

Estimated Time

One - two periods

Materials/ Resources needed

News paper and magazine articles analysing budgets and public finances in India Kothari Commission Report Articles by JBG Tilak on financing of education

  1. Education in the Union Budget
  2. Financing Education, covers many ideas.

Prerequisites/Instructions, if any

Multimedia resources

Videos of budget presentations and discussions on budgets - both India and Karnataka

Relevant local connections - people, places and materials

See videos of Karnataka state budget Get information about the annual budget of your local body - grama panchayat / taluka panchayat or city/ town council

Website interactives/ links


  1. Students can be divided into teams and each team can study the reasons why education needs to be financed by the Government. Students can also find information on practices in Kerala and Karnataka. There are documents and discussions on education financing which can be referred to, for diverse and conflicting opinions of different aspects of public finance.
  2. The central government has introduced the education cess, which is collected on a percentage basis on all taxes collected. This cess amount is used to finance education. Currently 2% of any tax is collected for elementary education and 1% for higher education.
  3. The education expenditure of one year for Karnataka can be taken and analysed. By dividing it by number of students, we can get average or per capita student expenditure (refer statistics for this calculation)

What questions can you ask

  1. The Karnataka budget has a significant contribution towards education. Is it adequate? What is the percentage increase in overall budget you think education should have. (Can refer to the Kothari Commission report on education for some inputs here)
  2. Is the education cess amount adequate for financing education in India? What items of education should Government fund - teachers salaries, construction of buildings, classrooms, libraries, laboratories, sports grounds, scholarships, uniforms, text books?

Evaluation – (questions for assessment of the child)

In the presentation and discussion, the ideas and thinking of the students of the importance of public finance for developmental activities can be assessed.

Question Corner

  1. Why should governments finance education? Can a 'poor' country like India afford to spend public funds on education?
  2. How should the government collect funds for financing education?
  3. What is a reasonable expenditure on education - what items should it contain? Why?

Activity keywords

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