India Spent “JUST” $11b in Education While China $675b in 2017

China’s investment in Education in education is 61 times more than that of India. In this article, our main focus will be on the education budget and the percentage GDP allocated to the education sector in India.

China’s Literacy Rate is 23% Higher than India PIG Research

Countries like Cuba, Marshal Island and Kiribati spend more than 10% of their GDP on education. India is still struggling with spends close to 3% of the GDP on education. One of the recommendations that were laid down by the Kothari commission primarily focused that the budget allocation in the education sector should be raised to 6 per cent of the GDP. The Government of India accepted the recommendations. Till date, the GOI has failed in implementing this important recommendation. Neither the UPA government nor the BJP government has been successful in implementing the recommendations laid down by the Kothari Commission.

Kothari commission submitted its report in the year 1968. It is more than 50 years since the report came out. And yet India is struggling to achieve the recommended percentage. Whereas China, on the other hand, had set the target of achieving 4% of GDP in the education sector in 1993. It took 19 years to achieve the target percentage. In the year 2012, China capped 4.28% of the GDP on education. After this, there was a small decrease in the percentage, but it never dropped below 4%.

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The initial two years (2014-15 and 2015-16) of Modi government had allocated approximately $10 billion to the education sector. Whereas in the years (2016-17 and 2017-18) the budget has been increased and capped to $10.53 billion crores and $11.3 billion respectively.

China’s education budget in 2014 was $490 billion. In the year 2016, China spent $583 billion on the education sector. Whereas in 2017, China increased the education budget by 9.43%. It spent nearly $675 billion in 2017.

On comparing India and China, the difference between the education budget is highly unlikely. And there is a huge gap in the education budget between both the countries. Between 2014-17, India’s education budget ranged from $10 billion to $11.3 billion, whereas China’s budget ranged from $490 billion to $675 billion.

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POLICY INTELLIGENCE GROUP (PIG) is a Research Wing of The Policy Times, India’s First Digital TV on Public Policy and International affair issues. PIG has undertaken it’s first comprehensive research project on improvement in Indian education over the last four years under the NDA Government. The research aims to analyse and assess policy interventions and achievements of the current governments in power both at Centre and in States. The research will also highlight major policy failures and outline necessary policy recommendations.


The Study is being undertaken by a group of Researchers including Farogh Altamash, Mohammad Javed and Anas Ansari under the guidance of Akram Hoque, Founding Editor, The Policy Times.