Govt Increases Allocation Towards Education By Around INR 8,000 Cr In FY22 The government has earmarked INR 93,224 crore for education-compared with revised figure of INR 85,089 for FY21-which includes INR 38,350.65 crore for higher education and INR 54,873 crore for school education

By Debarghya Sil

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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced the Union Budget 2021, the most anticipated budget that the country which is still reeling under the havoc caused by the ongoing pandemic. The budget which was anticipated to focus more on the overworked healthcare sector, saw a 137 per cent increase in allocation than the last year.

It was anticipated that in order to pump money into other distressed sectors, the government of India will cut short its spending on education. However, budget estimates for FY 21-22 was INR 8,100 more than that of the revised budget amount for FY 20-21 for education.

The government has earmarked INR 93,224.31 crore for education which includes INR 38,350 crore for higher education and INR 54,873 crore for school education for FY22. Last year, the government while announcing Union Budget estimated that it will shell out INR 99311 crore for the education. However, in its revised figures the government reduced the budget allocation for education to INR 85089.07 for the financial year 2020-21.

However, the picture will be different if one compares last year's budget estimates to this year's, where the numbers have taken quite a hit.

The government is also looking at the launch of 100 new sainik schools to be set up in partnership with NGOs/ private schools/states.

The government has also increased funds for Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) to INR 6,800 from last year's revised estimates of INR 6,437. Similarly NCERT, Navodaya Vidalaya Samiti, Transfer to Madhyamik and Uchhatar Shikhsha Kosh saw gradual increase in terms of budget allocation from the last year's revised estimates.

However, the mid-day meal scheme saw a slight dip from last year's revised estimates of INR 12,900 crore to INR 11,500 crore.

Here are what the experts have to say:

Charu Noheria, co-founder and chief operating officer, Practically, said, " The budget for FY 2021-22 has been a balanced one. The decision to strengthen the education sector as per National Education Policy, has certainly been one of the highlights of the Union Budget 2021. We welcome the government's move to set up a Higher Education Commission of India and its plans to integrate nine cities, including Hyderabad, our home market, under an umbrella structure for higher education institutions to allow for better synergy among them. Also, the government's decision to extend the tax holiday by one more year, to March 2022 along with capital gains exemption will help India's startup ecosystem deal with the pandemic blues."

Srini Raghavan, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Educational Initiatives, said, "The Union Budget 2021-22 focuses on driving notable progress in the educational system in India through transformation in the learning framework from traditional rote learning format to an evolved and engaged pedagogical approach for students in K12 .

The government has shown the commitment to take a number of steps to reform assessments in India including Board Exam Reforms and making assessments focus on conceptual learning in school, which we welcome. This focus on assessments, which is the core of the learning solutions that we offer at educational initiatives, ensures that students are assessed on conceptual clarity, analytical skills and application of knowledge to real life situations. It also helps to identify the students' potential and in making formative decisions in higher education and career choices.

In addition, the pandemic has underlined the importance of upskilling teachers for which the government's decision on training school teachers through the new initiatives will aid in promoting the need for improved quality in education, across schools and syllabi. The parameters will enhance the capabilities of teachers through individual mentoring of school teachers and educators through constant online/offline support on subjects, themes and pedagogy in line with the Science of Learning."

Mohan Lakhamraju, founder and CEO, Great Learning, said, "We welcome the allocation of Rs. 3000 crore towards realignment of the existing scheme of National Apprenticeship Training Scheme in order to provide post-education apprenticeship to engineering graduates and diploma holders. It will help create talent that is employable and equipped with the right set of skills for the industry ensuring professionals are job-ready. The moves to join forces with UAE to benchmark skill qualification and introduction of collaborative training programs with the Japanese workforce are also steps in the right direction. This will help us keep our skilling endeavours in sync with global trends."

Ankush Singla, co-founder, Coding Ninjas and Captain Coder, said, "Education and the rise in Edtech are soaring in India and will unveil a plethora of opportunities for the consumers (students) and edtech startups. Government's move under NEP for 2021, from opening up of new schools to collaborating with Japan over technology and knowledge sharing is a great decision. While the NEP unlocks great opportunities for private players in the edtech space and collaboration opportunities with the government, it would be interesting to see the implementation and fast-tracking of these regulations for the Indian education system to boom with its truest potential. The tax holiday and capital exemption are welcome moves. It is a relief to startups especially who were impacted with the pandemic and the lockdown."

Debarghya Sil

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Correspondent

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