In conversation with P.C. Chhabra- Executive Director, Sanskriti University.
What is your opinion about the upcoming budget?
The COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting impact on all sectors, including education. The previous year proved to be gamechanger for the education industry by drastically replacing traditional classrooms with online teaching methods. The Union Budget for 2021-2022 is a much-awaited one as it will be the first since the New Education Policy was introduced last year. The vision set by the government, through NEP 2020 will be vital in achieving the objectives of an effective and inclusive education system.
The Union budget 2021 should give guidelines on the ‘NEP implementation plan’ and further strengthen the focus and investment in Edu-tech to enhance experiential and immersive learning and reinforce the skill development process at par with the global education standards. Education in India needs to be recognized as an equalizer as a crucial instrument that can bridge the socio-economic divide in our country. Income inequality in India stems from the enormous disparity in learning outcomes after completion of education. And, to address this gap, reallocation of resources from other sectors need to be made and re-routed towards building a level-playing field for all students.
Budget 2021 needs to focus on investments towards building a robust system of accountability, checks, and balances to level-up the delivery and quality of higher education. The stakeholders are eyeing the Budget 2021 with a lot of expectations as the government has already signalled allocation of 6% of the GDP towards education. This can be a healthy start towards strengthening the sector. Aligning with it, we expect the government to introduce a framework for formalizing the online education coupling it with exhaustive provisions for bridging the digital divide between both ends of the education value chain.