would you nod your head at this kind of argument?
According to an estimate, while Rs.1,30,856 crores has been spent on education in Coastal Andhra and Rs.38,247 crores in Rayalaseema, expenditure on Telangana is only Rs.16,338 crores.found that precious nugget of knowledge in an appeal sent to the prime minister (and sonia gandhi, of course) recently by an organization called 'Hyderabad Forum for Telangana' (you will find the appeal here on facebook, and with some of my comments on it, here).
look at those figures: 1,30,856 crores were spent on the nine districts of coastal andhra since 1956, while 38,247 crores were spent on the four districts of rayalaseema and only 16,338 crores were spent on the ten districts of telangana! while around 14,000 crores were spent on each district of andhra, 9,500 crores on each district of rayalaseema, and only 1600 crores were spent on each district of telangana. or only around 8.5% of the entire education expenditure since 1956 was spent on telangana (which is home to around 40% of the total population of the state)! i ask myself, shouldn't the estimator have asked himself: am i going slightly overboard, maybe?
if you were a plain, garden-variety conspiracy theorist, you'd hesitate a little before manufacturing those kind of estimates. you'd worry about believability. but in the homes of the telangana separatists these days, every ganesha on every wall calendar drinks milk, so all the manufacturers need to worry about is to keep the supply of milk running. and that's the only concern that worries them: the supply shouldn't run dry, we'll think about quality later, much, much later. so like illicit liquor producers across the slums of india, they throw in whatever they can lay their hands on into the brew: the academic equivalents of chemicals, offal, dead rats. because the market needs the fix, and now. more than it needs solutions to hunger, caste or poverty.
so none of the believers ask: whose estimate? what source? when did they compile the data? but until now the immensely creative knowledge of the manufacturers was mostly thrust on domestic users. and for a major part of the fifteen years of their efforts to build a market, there were very few takers for their kind of knowledge, their product, even in the domestic market. until sections of the congress, away from power for nine long years and desperately short of electoral mantras, and a few other mainstream politicians took on the responsibility of marketing this new post-reforms variant of an old, discredited product. it was only then that it attained the kind of visibility in public discourse that sharad pawar and many others in the congress lend to the shiv sena in maharashtra.
did andhra pradesh spend rs.1,30,856 crores plus 38,247 crores plus 16,338 crores on education since 1956?
no. rs.1,30,856 crores plus 38,247 crores plus 16,338 crores is rs.1,85,441 crores, and i don't think the government of andhra pradesh has spent even half as much on education, cumulatively, in all the years since 1956. but you can check for yourself from the andhra pradesh government's own budget estimates that you can find through a little exploration here. let me outline here some of the results i obtained through my own efforts at exploration there:
*2009-10. the budget estimate for expenditure on education for the year 2009-10 is around 10,800 crores in 2009-10, (page 32),
* 2000-01. 3,619 crores was actually incurred in 2000-2001,
* 1990-91. rs.995 crores in 1990-91,
* 1980-81. 198 crores in 1980-81,
* 1970-71. rs.60 crores in 1970-71
* 1960-61. rs.15 crores in 1960-61
those are mostly budget estimates (and i've rounded off some of them), culled from various budget speeches by the finance ministers of those times, and there'd be very minor revisions at the end of those years. i've quoted figures from the first year of each decade (1960-61, 1970-71, 1980-81, 1990-91, 2000-2001 and the current year, 2009-10) so that we'd get a very general sense of what could be the average spending on education, each year, during any particular decade (50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s). after going through the figures for many other years which i am not quoting here (because i don't think they're needed to make the point i'm trying to make-- any reader is welcome to check whatever figures are made available on the site, and please correct me), i've come up with some estimates of i) how much was spent, on an average, in each year in every decade since 1956 and ii) also an estimate of what could be the total amount spent by the government of andhra pradesh in all those years on general, higher and technical education. please note that i might be erring on a higher side, because i'm still trying to give the unnamed estimator a huge benefit of doubt:
1956-60: average spending on education in each year was rs.15 crore (i am taking the higher figure of the budget estimate of 1960-61, the first year of the next decade, as the average because i don't think it'd make much of difference to the total). the total spending on education for the four years (1956-57 until 1959-60) of the 50s comes to rs.60 crores.
1960-70. average spending on education in each year was rs.35 crores (i am still taking a higher figure, i think) and total spending on education in all the years during the 60s comes to rs.350 crores.
1970-80. average spending on education in each year was rs.150 crores, and total spending on education in all the years during the 70s comes to rs.1500 crores.
1980-90. average spending on education in each year was rs.600 crores, and total spending on education in all the years during the 80s comes to rs.6000 crores.
1990-2000. average spending on education in each year was rs.2,500 crores (i am still taking the higher figures), and total spending on education in all the years during the 90s comes to rs.25000 crores.
2000-2010. average spending on education in each year was rs.5,500 crores (i am still taking the higher figures), and total spending on education in all the years during the 2000s comes to rs.55000 crores.
what do all those figures add upto? rs.60 crores (total spend in the 50s) + 350 crores (total spend in the 60s) + 1,500 crores (total spend in the 70s) + 6,000 crores (total spend in the 80s) + 25,000 crores (total spend in the 90s) + 55,000 crores (total spend in the 2000s) = rs.87,910 crores. is that half of rs.1,85,441 crores, the figure the unnamed estimator had come up with? no.
the government of andhra pradesh hasn't spent half as much as the figure mentioned in the appeal in all the years since 1956. so forget the veracity of all the rest of the figures pertaining to allocations to the different regions. i am still willing to give the estimator a very long rope: was the estimator using present values of those sums spent in the past? it doesn't say so anywhere in the appeal which is addressed to the prime minister, an economist. nor does it seem likely, looking at the total figure the estimator has come up with. my own view is that if the estimator was using present values, not a paisa was spent on education in telangana, going by his estimate, since around the eighties. i don't think i need to say any more about the quality of that estimate.
but i wonder: how could all these learned, public spirited individuals have signed that appeal without checking the quality of the facts and figures mentioned in it?
Prof. Rama S. Melkote, Rtd. Professor, Osmania University
Prof. E. Revathi, Professor, Kakatiya University
Dr. K. Lalita, Director, Yugantar
Ms. K. Sajaya, Caring Citizens’ Collective
Dr. A. Suneetha, Coordinator, Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies
Ms. Kaneez Fathima, Muslim Forum for Telangana
Ms. Sandhya, President, Progressive Organization of Women
Ms. Vasudha Nagaraj, Advocate
Ms. Mandakini Mallaram, Advocate
Dr. K. Satyalakshmi, Associate Professor, Gandhi Naturopathic Medical College
Mr. Burgula Narsing Rao, Freedom Fighter
Prof. Madabhushi Sridhar, Professor, NALSAR Law University
Mr. Lateef Mohammad Khan, Gen.Secretary, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee
Mr. K. T. Rama Rao, Member, Andhra Pradesh Assembly
Mr. Vidyasagar Rao, Rtd.Chief Engineer, Andhra Pradesh
Mr. M. Lakshmaiah, Senior Journalist
Mr. Chukka Ramaiah, Eminent Educationist
Mr. Sridhar Reddy, Indian National Congress
Dr. G. Vinod Kumar, Faculty, Law College, Osmania University
Dr. P. Harinath, Professor, Vivek Vardhini College
Mr. S. Jeevan Kumar, President, Human Rights Forum
Mr. Madan Mohan Rao, Senior Journalist
Mr. Sashi Kumar, Development Consultant
Dr. Ananth Maringanti, Journalist
Prof. M. Kodandram, Professor, Osmania University
Mr. D. Sitaram, Senior Journalist
Dr. Vithal Rajan, Member, World Future Council
Dr. R.V. Ramana Murthy, Associate Professor, Hyderabad Central University
Mr. Burgula Vijay, Telangana Development Forum
Ms. Seethalakshmi (Usha), Freelance Researcher and Consultant
Ms. Uma Bhrugubanda, Assistant Professor, English and Foreign Languages University
Dr. Rekha Pappu, Independent Researcher, Hyderabad
Dr. M. M. Vinodini, Dalit Writer
Mr. P.Kishan Rao, Farmer and Engineer, Khammam
Ms. Ravi Kumar, Development Consultant
Prof. D.Vasanta, Professor, Osmania University
Dr. R.Srivatsan, Senior Fellow, Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies
Dr. Mohammad Khaza, Poet and Writer
Mr. Kondala Reddy, Social Activist
Ms. V. Usha Rani, Director, Sannihita Resource Centre for Women
Mr. B. Rameshwarayya, Social Activist
Ms. Gogu Shyamala, Dalit writer
Ms. Joopaka Subadra, Dalit writer
Dr. Surepally Sujatha, Assistant Professor, Satavahana University, Karimnagar
Ms. G. Uma Devi, Rtd. Non-gazetted officer, Hyderabad
Ms. R. Lakshmi, Social Activist
Mr. Rajiv Velicheti, Associate Professor, Hyderabad Central University
Dr. Suguna Rammohan, Professor in Pathology, Kamineni Medical College
Dr. Manguta, Paediatrician
Ms. Burgula Suguna, MPTC, Burgula village, Mahboobnagar district
Dr. Peddi Rama Rao, Associate Professor, Telugu University
Dr. K. Madhavi, Associate Professor, Begumpet,
Mr. Jasraman Singh Grewal, Poet and Film maker
Mr. Diia Rajan, Researcher, Yugantar
Dr. Satish Poduval, Associate Professor, English and Foreign Languages University
Dr. Sarath Davala, Independent Researcher
Ms. Saraswati Kavula, Documentary Film Maker
Mr. Burgula Sudheer, Rtd. SBH officer
Mr. Burgula Dileep, Agriculturalist
Mr. Vommi Ramesh Babu, Journalist and writer
Mr. Burgula Pradeep, Trade Unionist
Mr. Pasham Yadagiri , Senior journalist
Ms. J. Subhadra, Dalit writer
Ms. G Uma Devi , Rtd. Non-gazzetted officer
Dr. Surapally Sujatha, Asst. Professor
Ms. Soumitri, Development Consultant.
Mr. Raghavan, Development Consultant
Mr. Errabelli Siddarth Rao, Advocate
Mr. Sri Harsha Rao, Advocate
Ms. Rohini Rao, Advocate
the hindu, upper caste liberal (which is what most of those signatories are) is a very anxious animal: the race to seem liberal is such an intensely competitive struggle, i guess, that you can't blame them for not bothering to check what they're liberal about.
no, i am not going to blame them for not checking the rest of the very argumentative, many times offensively sectarian, appeal either. i can only admire their blind faith in the cause: who said education is about learning to reason?