Reality Check India

Thinktanks, national newspapers, need to cross check data

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on July 19, 2014

I stumbled upon the following piece titled “Space for little people” in The Hindu written by Agrima Bhasin with the think tank Centre of Equity Studies.

The essay itself is a template activist manifesto, celebrating such wild things as PN Bhagwati’s breathing life into Article 21, “landmark decisions such as ” Unnikrishnan, maybe even Mohini Jain. Standard trajectory but what really stunned me was that the article seems to build up to the following punchline.

 ruthlessly slashed the outlay for MHRD by a colossal 71.4 per cent .. Lets check that claim.

ruthlessly slashed the outlay for MHRD by a colossal 71.4 per cent .. Lets check that claim.

Wait! That cant be right. If Arun Jaitley indeed cut MHRD allocation by 76% – he would have been hauled over coals by now.  I decided to cross check the numbers and sure enough it shows up as plain wrong. I think the Think Tank as well as The Hindu just ran the article in their activist excitement without basic fact checking. Let me break it down.

 

Lets check the facts (PDF).

Holy ravioli !  Modi slashed education by 44,200 Crore. !! 

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Did Modi reduce MHRD allocation by whopping 44,200 Crore ? Where is the money ..

 

Let just look at the other allocation document and we have the answer.

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But look 50,694 Cr magically appears in a separate report. Centrally sponsored schemes now shown separately

 

This is why you need to read the footnote.

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They just reclassified the budget numbers. Separated central allocations like the beloved RTE.

 

So lets do the maths again.

Modi actually INCREASED MHRD allocation by 50,694 Cr – 44,220Cr = 6,494 Cr.  The whole piece from the Think Tank now lies deflated.

Hope The Hindu issues a clarification and pulls the piece because everything else in the piece leads up to this incorrect factual claim.

 

 

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