By Shivram Choudhary, Founder, Codevidhya
The budget for 2021- the very first since the outbreak of COVID-19 was unveiled by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday. The significance of this budget increases as it comes at a time when our country is trying to bounce back from the unprecedented loss caused by the pandemic. Our goals need to be strong enough to help elevate the economic condition of our country by boosting the spending on the education sector. It is a sector that can promote a country from one economic bracket to another.
The union budget has showcased a positive impact on the education sector but if it is to mention this year allocation, it is less than last year. Finance Minister announced a total expenditure estimate of Rs 93,224 crore for education in this year budget; however, the government allocated Rs 99,300 crore in 2020 budget.
The positive move in this year’s budget is the strengthening of 15000+ schools under National Education Policy (NEP). The announcement will have a positive impact on the country. There are over 15 lakhs schools in the entire nation, which are reportedly three times that of China as per a study conducted by NITI Aayog last year. Out of 15 lakhs schools, nearly four lakhs have less than 50 students each with two teachers. Strengthening 15000+ schools will definitely add fillip to the Indian education system. The education sector whole hearty welcomes the proposal of setting up 100 new Sainik Schools to be established in partnership with NGOs and setting up of 750 Eklavya model residential schools. This clearly highlights the government approach towards making education available and affordable to all, even to the remotest part of the country.
The government allocation of Rs 50,000 crore in the research & development sector clearly shows that our country is heading in its endeavour toward becoming a global tech. Establishing a Higher Education Commission is in keeping with the recommendation in the New Education Policy. The step will push quality education with an overall approach. This will also enable many universities to enter the top 500 rankings. The Finance Minister announcement of allocating Rs 3000 crores for the proposal towards skilling and apprenticeship for students will add wings to the aspiring NextGen leaders of tomorrow. It will open doors of opportunities to them and a promise for a bright future. The proposal for collaborative training and inter-training programmes between India and Japan is an imperative announcement. This will aid the transfer of Japanese vocational and industrial skills, and the partnership with UAE to benchmark skilled qualifications. The informal education led by the EdTech sector had pinned high hopes with the budget 2021 but got nothing in their hands. The EdTech firms had performed very well during the pandemic so expect some positive announcement in the next year budget.
It can be concluded that the overall Budget for the education sector is very progressive and transparent with few hopes for the next year’s budget.