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Nirmala Sitharaman - Budget 2020

Budget 2020: Rs 99,300 crore allocated to education sector

February 3, 2020

On Saturday, while announcing the Budget 2020-21, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has allocated Rs 99,300 crore for the education sector in the next fiscal. She also said that there’s been an increase of over 5 percent from the last year’s budget allocation (Rs. 94,853.64 crores). The draft of the new education policy was released in May 2019.

The Centre would soon announce a new education policy and has allocated Rs 3,000 crore for skill development. The finance minister also said that the government plans to start a programme in which urban local bodies will provide opportunities for a one-year internship to would-be engineers. The National Police University and National Forensic University are being proposed. An IND-SAT examination will be introduced for Asian and African students to enable evaluation to ‘Study in India’.

The government has also proposed to attach medical colleges with district hospitals on the PPP model to deal with the shortage of doctors. There’s a global demand for teachers, medical and para-medical staff and the country will start a bridge program to tap these sectors and fill out the employment gap.

To enhance employability in students studying in general stream, the government proposed to start apprenticeship embedded degree or diploma courses by March 2021 in about 150 higher institutes.

To provide quality education to underprivileged students of the society, Sitharaman has proposed to start a degree level full-fledged online education programme. This shall be offered only by institutions who are ranked within the top 100 in the National Institutional Ranking framework (NIRF).

Dr Rupamanjari Ghosh, Co-chair, FICCI Higher Education Committee says, “Budget-2020 lays emphasis on teacher empowerment and skills development, the need for which cannot be overemphasised. However, higher-level skills required for future jobs should be integrated with an agile Higher Education framework. We look forward to the new National Education Policy being implemented, the draft of which has suggested several futuristic and transformational measures.

The new economy will be based on new-age technologies, and we appreciate the government’s move to dedicate INR 8,000 crores for the National Mission on Quantum Technologies. This will boost quality research & innovation on the exciting and difficult topics of Quantum Computing, and Quantum Communication at Indian universities, including top-notch private institutions.

I was expecting some bold measures to explicitly promote private philanthropy to meet the GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio) target for Higher Education. For example, universities should be allowed to creatively invest their endowments. We hope the outlays proposed will pave way for more enthusiastic participation from the industry to drive the Higher Education ecosystem in India.”

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