The education budget stands at Rs 93198.81 Cr (School Education- Rs 54873.66 Cr and Higher Education – Rs 38325.15 Cr) Looking at the data of the last three years, the budgetary provision for education has been contracting from 3.71% of GDP in 2017-18, to 3.48% of GDP in 2018-19 and further to 3.2% in 2019-20. The government had in the last financial year allocated Rs 99,300 crore for the education sector. Clarity in a detailed implementation plan along with a timeline is what we have been looking for.
The mood of leadership in the education sector is positive and upbeat. Let’s hear what they have to say.
Dr. Joseph Marianus Kujur, Director, XISS – Ranchi
The Union Budget 2021 is presented against the backdrop of an unprecedented situation as we are aware, which has impacted primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy. The Unorganised sector compared to the organized, has been the worst hit. Even before the pandemic, the Indian economy was in shatters with the highest unemployment rate ever in the last 45 years or so, which makes it more critical.
- Digital infrastructure, research funds and the NEP plan are the key areas where I see the relevance of Budget 2021 for B-Schools and other centres of higher learning, where the Government and Private sector will have to appreciate their importance and take necessary steps to give it a thrust.
- Budget 2021 focuses on the fast implementation of the NEP. Hence, the present budget is very crucial in view of creating demands, jobs and a roadmap for the future.
- From the perspective of higher and professional education, it is obvious that for education, it is a moment of reckoning as NEP 2020 seems to be a game changer with major reforms proposed for promoting a ‘multidisciplinary’ concept with a single regulator called Higher Education Council of India (HECI), dreaming to make India as a global knowledge superpower.
Prof. P. K Biswas, Dean, IMT G
This year’s budget has a greater significance as it comes amid the economic disruption due to COVID-19 when the country is battling a pandemic which has pushed back the progress in the education system.
The Budget 2021 reflects the mood of the Government which is aiming for the nation to become self-reliant. Some initiatives like the new Central University in Leh area and the pledge to support universities and institutes under the “Umbrella structure” sounds a solid plan towards enabling education available to a larger section of the society. India would need to increase its spend on the education sector if it wants to achieve the $5 trillion dream.
Dr. Himadri Das, Director General, IMI.
India is in startup mode with a hyper growth business plan. Series A valuation of this business plan is super high. Series B and C valuation will depend on execution. As always, it is all about execution.
Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Director FORE School of Management, New Delhi.
This year’s budget has indicated a good intention of progress in addressing some of the issues in the education system. Reforms in NEP, with plans for more than 15,000 proposed schools to be qualitatively strengthened to include all components of the National Education Policy, is a welcome statement. However, as I mentioned earlier too, the NEP has to be more than a strategy statement for the nation, expected to be productive and precise in terms of the desired outcomes. The digital and economic divide – the gap in accessibility and affordability of education across the weaker economic strata of society has been a challenge during the lockdown, due to lack of online education infrastructure both at school and student level. Focus on health care and infrastructure like the proposed Central University in Leh, is a welcome move however, education and more importantly delivery mechanism and quality enhancement of teachers, for digital sustainability and development, was required.
Maybe a revised GST (lower than 18%) for online courses would have made it more affordable and even more popular.
The tax holiday for startups extended till March 2022 is a welcome move for students with entrepreneurial mindsets.