Academia “very satisfied” with “balanced and equitable budget”
GN Bureau | February 1, 2021
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on Monday announced the total budget allocation Rs 54,873.66 crore for school education and Rs 38,325.15 crore for higher education in Budget Estimate 2021-22.
Keeping in view the National Education Policy, Sitharaman announced to set up a Higher Education Commission which will be responsible for the accreditation and the Funding of the Colleges and the Universities. In school education, the budget focuses on the tribal area with an announcement of the opening up 750 Ekalavya Schools at Tribal Areas and 100 New Sainik Schools across the nation. The budget focuses on 15,000 schools across the country will be strengthened quality-wise and will serve as exemplar schools in that region. The implementation will be an excellent start toward a more holistic educational approach and a good deliverable for the union budget.
Commenting on the budget, Dr Chandra B Sharma, Professor of Education, IGNOU, New Delhi, Former Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), said, “Academia is very satisfied with the budget 2021-22 as school education has been given as much attention as higher education. The budget emphasises the need to improve the quality of education of the poor and the less privileged by funding Tribal schools, increase the number of scholarship to Scheduled Caste students and given a boost to skill education and at the same time revamp higher education through formation of Higher Education Commission of India and the four verticals of the HECI. Research has been given a great boost by allotting 50,000 crores in the next five years. A balanced and equitable budget.”
In skills development, the government announces collaboration with UAE for Skill Development programme and with Japan for Technology and Knowledge. Achin Bhattacharyya, CEO & Founder, Notebook, said the finance minister’s announcement with regard to thrust on skilling is a very welcome initiative. The limited window of opportunity that our demographic advantage offers needs to properly utilized over the next few decades before we reach the plateau-like many western countries. Hence making our youth more employable has to be taken up on priority. The current budget proposes to realign the existing scheme of the National Apprenticeship Training Scheme (NATS) for providing post-education apprenticeship, training of graduates and diploma holders in Engineering and over 3,000 crores will be provided for this. Also in partnership with the UAE, there is an initiative to benchmark skill qualifications, assessment, and certification, accompanied by the deployment of a certified workforce. Also in line with the existing collaborative Training Inter Training Program (TITP) between India and Japan for facilitating the transfer of Japanese industrial and vocational skills, technique, and knowledge, similar to the initiative will be taken forward with many more countries.”
National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) will be set up to support teaching and learning activities. The digital architecture set up under this will also help in educational planning, governance and administrative activities of the centre and the states/union territories.
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