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India will increase its higher education budget by 21 percent this year, allocating some INR 13 billion (EUR 191 million) to the Department of Education as opposed to INR 11 billion (EUR 172 million) last year. The extra funds are not principally intended to bolster existing institutions but to launch twelve new central universities, possibly before the Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian parliament) elections in spring.
The push to boost the Indian higher education sector needs to be seen under the light of the about 450 000 Indian students seeking higher education abroad (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, May 2008), the compelling reason being the lack of capacity in Indian institutions.