Financing of Public Higher Education Institutions in India
The governments and individuals/households have been increasing their investment in higher education leading to massification of higher education in many countries. Committees and commissions on higher education in India have reflected on the need for institutions to seek resources in addition to the resource allocated from the government. The availability of resources at the institution level has been found to be inadequate to meet the growing demand for student enrolment. Consequently, many higher education institutions (HEI) have started cost-recovery measures, mostly in the form of levying higher rates of student fees and resource mobilisation strategies, with varying success.
There is a need to understand the resource allocation, patterns of utilisation of resources received in terms of grants as well as through income- generating activities in the Indian context. This study aims to map the diversified sources of funding of (HEI), to analyse adequacy or inadequacy of the resources, to understand the relative challenges in the mobilisation of additional resources by the diversified higher education institutions, to identify the activities that could not be carried out due to paucity of funds and to analyse the expenditure and utilisation pattern of the resources by the higher education institutions. The research methodology for the study is descriptive in nature, analysing secondary and primary data collected at the institutional level. The study attempts to find out about the different sources of funding of HEI; the utilisation pattern of the resources by the HEIs and the extent of resource gaps at the institutional level; activities affected by reduced resource availability and the strategies adopted by the institution to mobilise additional resources.
The study is based on the case studies of five states of the country representing five major zones of India i.e., Bihar, Odisha, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Telangana, the government departments that allocate fund to the respective higher education institutions, the universities located in these selected states and an affiliated college from each of the selected universities, and the SHECs that are operating in a few of these states. The study was launched with a workshop where all the research team members from B. R. Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, Bihar; Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha; Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab; University of Hyderabad, Telangana; and Kumaun University, Uttarakhand participated.