The Indian Government’s efforts to bring in the New National Education Policy and the vision to endorse Indian institutes for higher education last year was lauded by many experts. However, with the growing focus on creating an employable workforce and to boost skill development, the need of the hour is to recognise the importance of quality education backed with emerging technology. The Union budget 2020 should encourage investment in Edu-tech for immersive learning and strengthen the process of skill development.
The penetration of internet in India’s hinterlands has created demand for digital learning in rural areas which is well aligned with the Government’s ambitious Digital India initiative. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is influencing a range of industries, altering the job roles and is considered to drive the next big technological shift. Hence, the allocation of budgets to promote AR, VR, AI and Robotics can be a game-changer for education delivery in the country. The NISHTHA program launched last year for teachers training needs to further bridge the skill gap with fast-changing business landscape.
Dr. H. K.Pradhan, Professor of Finance and Economics at XLRI – Xavier School of Management
There are sentimental issues as regards the selling pressures gaining momentum across the board as per the disappointment of the equity market. In what way the removal of dividend distribution tax(DDT) helps the tax burden of investors, as they might pay up more by way of income tax. While small savings will be hit given the option to shift to the new income tax slabs, there is no clarity as regards the net flows into the equity market with the net reduction of income tax. The market was eagerly hoping for a correction in the Long Term Capital Gains Tax (LTCG) which the FM silently ignored. Government passes on the hard choice to the middle class in so far as their tax savings versus direct tax savings from income.
Dr Sanjay Gupta, Vice-Chancellor, World University of Design
The introduction of FDI in the education sector, the launch of ‘Study in India’ programme, new apprenticeship programmes and online degree courses, besides the continued budget allocation for skill development, reiterating the government’s commitment towards the youth of our country.
Dr Jitin Chadha, Founder & Director, Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF)
Openness to receiving, and capitalising upon, the transfer of knowledge as well as education management know-how that top institutions around the world are actively looking to make to greener pastures like India, is a no-brainer in my opinion. Foreign collaborations in higher education – with or without FDI – offer a near term solution to the problem of quality human capital and employability, which can help us avert a demographic disaster and reap some dividend instead.
Vishwanathan Iyer, Professor – Finance Area, Associate Dean (Academics), TAPMI
Overall it is a bold pro-middle class, pro-corporate and forward-looking budget. The big message is that Wealth Creators shall be respected. Big and bold moves such as raising the threshold for Income tax as well as the abolition of DDT. Simplified GST norms, revisiting Rule of Origin requirements and also tightening of regulations relating to dumping of goods greatly benefit the MSME sector. Multiple reforms for improving the financial architecture. Partial Divestment of LIC and IDBI proposed should bring more retail participation in the market.
Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, The Shahani Group
Allowing Foreign investments and external corporate borrowings by educational institutions will provide much needed new funding sources to facilitate their growth. Further, offering full degree programmes online will enable those who cannot access regular colleges to avail the qualifications they need to gain full employment. As education is a state subject, it is good to see that the central government is coordinating with each state to encourage the implementation of the New Education Policy at the grassroots.
Dr Pankaj Gupta President, IIHMR University, Jaipur
The union budget 2020 has realized the importance of the same and announced programs which will be beneficial to the overall growth of education in the country. To ensure that education reaches everyone and is accessible anywhere anytime degree level full-fledged online courses will be offered by institutes in the top 100 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework. This will help people with primary level education attain higher education and get better jobs which will enable them to contribute positively to the economy.
Dr RL Raina, Vice-Chancellor, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur
Union budget 2020 addresses key gaps between skill and employment by ensuring focused efforts on increasing skill-based institutions for medical, internships for engineers in Urban local bodies and apprenticeship based programs for non-science students. Inviting FDI for education sectors can be a decent opportunity in the path of improving the quality of education. INDI-SAT will also bring in diversity in the classroom and will force institutions to move towards Global offerings and expertise to meet the requirements. To ensure that education reaches everyone and is accessible anywhere anytime degree level full-fledged online courses will be offered by institutes in the top 100 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework. Finally, viability gap funding will be used to set up medical colleges which will be attached to district hospitals in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model which will help students gain maximum exposure and experience early on that will hold them in good stead
Dr Narendra Shyamsukha, Founder Chairman, ICA Edu Skills
The union budget 2020-2021 has announced 3000 crores for skill development which will help students be more job-ready and reduce the gap between education imparted and skills required. FM Nirmala Sitharaman announced that urban local bodies across the country will provide internships for young engineers for a period of up to one year so that they are well versed with the requirements of the job and get the right exposure. Also, with the help of viability gap funding medical colleges will be set up and will be attached with district colleges in PPP (Public-Private Partnership) mode which will provide students both education and on job experiences to be better prepared for their future
Ramananda SG, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Pearson India
The government has tried to strike an equilibrium between the needs of the public sector and generating employment through the right skill sets, like engineers interning at urban local bodies and the announcement of a National Forensic & National Police University. Furthermore, the focus on skill-development in museology and archaeology is expected to fuel the tourism sector with the right talent in the coming years.
The government has clearly highlighted that technology will drive the next wave of growth, with the provision of INR 8,000 crore for the National Mission on Quantum Computing and Technology and the announcement of 2 national-level science schemes. The Fibre to Home initiative will link 100,000 Gram Panchayats through BharatNet in FY21, ensuring internet penetration in rural areas and expanding the ambit of online education in the country.
Kushal Agarwal, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, XOXODAY
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has suggested several measures to the finance ministry for start-ups in the Budget. The initiatives in ESOPs vesting is a big relief for employees who want to join startups and for companies to hire high-quality talent by offering ESOPs. The budget could have been better from structural reforms to boost levers for growth which is in the struggle now.
Akansh Khurana, Co-Founder and CEO, THB: Technology Healthcare Big Data Analytics
This year’s focus on innovative healthcare technologies is clearly welcoming for those working on novel innovations and applications. There are several inevitable applications to drive successful implementations and outcomes of focus areas such as #TB, #MissionIndradhanush, #FitIndia, #JanArogyaYojana.
Indian population clinical datasets indicate that the highest percentage of TB positive cases are found in the age group of 10 to 24 years (43% positivity rate vs. 17% in >60 years). Ironically the multi-drug resistance is also found to be higher among the younger population (22% MDR in 10-24 years vs. 7% in >60 years). Clearly the program requires fundamental rethinking and redesigning by leveraging data analytics and clinical research.
Vivek Jain, Chief Business Officer – Shiksha.com, Naukri FastForward
The proposed investment in Study in India program will bring more youth from foreign countries and it will be a big step towards the aim of making India the education hub of the world. IND-SAT targets Asian and African countries only but we hope it will open to the whole world soon.
Also, the MBBS colleges in each district is a great initiative as we feel there is a big void in that area which needs to be filled. Now people will get full-fledged online degree programs which will be offered by top 100 institutions which will be helpful for students who otherwise had to travel for quality education.
Kiran Dham CEO & HR Head, Globus Infocom
Another measure taken by the government to make education more technology-friendly & accessible is to include its provision for degree level online learning programme to be offered by institutions ranked amongst the top 100 in national rankings. Government has also taken into consideration the importance of Skill Development which will be a major factor for employment & financial independence for the country’s population. The budget allotment of 3000 Cr. for skill development will help in fighting the prevailing problem of unemployment.
Shantanu Rooj, CEO & Founder, Schoolguru Eduserve Private Limited
The roll-out of Online Degree programs by Indian Universities shall help formal higher education reach out to the remotest parts of the country and bring about social inclusion for the deprived. The launch of apprenticeship linked degree programs by about 150 Universities in the country shall help make education more employable; Learning by Doing and Earning while Learning is powerful tools.
However, the budget disappointed on the meagre increase in the amount allocated to the sector, no relaxation on GST for online courses and no extra allocation towards subsidization of the stipend for apprentices that could have propelled more employers to partner with Universities in this initiative. The realization, that the tight control by the medical regulator which results in India producing far lesser doctors than what it needs, is a welcome step too.
Nikhil Barshikar, Founder and Managing Director, Imarticus Learning
With an increase in the allocation of funds from 94,800 cr last year to 99300 this year, the government continues to invest more in the education sector to infuse growth in the country. Addressing the severe skill shortage that businesses across India are facing at present, focus on skill development will lead to progress in the nation. We are also very affirmative with regard to the new education policy that will ensure quality education to students. Also, the introduction of degree-level full-fledged online education will empower the disadvantaged sections of the society in acquiring employable skills and for upskilling. The taxation of ESOP for employees that has been one of the top demands and will be a boon in the start-up ecosystem.
Rachit Jain, CEO & Founder, Youth4Work
The first budget of the new decade presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gives an outline of a new and confident India. It is a promising, proactive and progressive budget which will make India healthy and wealthy in the coming year. India will have the largest working-age population in the world by 2030 which is why more and more people need to have a good education so that they can contribute positively to the growth of the country. The 2020 union budget has made big announcements in lieu with Prime Minister’s Vision which will play a big role in transforming India’s educational landscape. The government has announced that 8000 crore rupees will be provided for quantum technologies and applications which will help students learning about quantum computing and secure applications. To groom young students urban local bodies across the country will provide internships to young engineers for a period of up to one year. To ensure that education reaches everyone and is accessible anywhere anytime degree level full-fledged online courses will be offered by institutes in the top 100 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework. To encourage students of African and Asian countries who wish to study in India, the IND-SAT exam will be held which will help India become a global hub of education. Moreover, viability gap funding will be used to set up medical colleges which will be attached to district hospitals in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model which will help students gain maximum exposure and experience early on in their careers