If you are in the education sector or even if you are a student, who is closely related to this sector, just because you at your higher secondary or college level, you might be aware of the fact that 1st February 2017 is the day of Union Budget. Yes, similar to other sectors, people in this sector also had a lot of expectations with respect to the budget for the educational sector. Are their expectations turned true when the Union Finance Minister posted his budget today? Let us explore:
What were the expectations of education sector?
As the date of the Union Budget was already known, professionals from many sectors posted their expectation about Budget 2017. Similarly, the education sector also posted its expectations and before getting into what’s on the card, let us first explores the expectations:
In the budget posted in last year, the finance minister called education sector as one among the nine pillars of the country. With this statement, nearly 6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product was earmarked by the minister towards this sector, which accounted to 4.9% hike from the budget compared to the previous year, which means Budget 2015. Due to this, people in education sector sky-rocketed their expectation and it was demanded by the education sector that the Finance Minister would better pay attention to the primary educations sector and requested that more jobs should be generated for teachers.
List of Expectations:
- According to a recent analysis, the state of education in the states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar is poor. It is also further added that the excellence of teachers in these states is also not good. So, it was expected that the Government of India should rationalize and should fill up the vacancies for teachers across the country, even after encompassing part-time teachers. It is stated that with the assumption that 10 million vacancies are to be filled, the expenditure to the government will be around 2 percent of the budget allocation made for education sector last year.
- Secondly, in the country, it is not possible for the government universities to accommodate students, who therefore move towards private universities. On the flip side, the fee in the private universities is huge and cannot be borne by all students. So, it is expected that the Government should bring down the interest rates on education loans for graduation and post-graduation studies.
- Due to the lack of fundamental R & D facilities, Indian institutes are lagging behind as compared to world-level institutions. To thrust the R & D in these institutions, it is expected that the government should devote on topnotch infrastructure with a view to motivating industrial participation with these institutions and also for researches in pure sciences. It is further added that this move of the government will provide better employment prospects to a larger number of research scholars getting out of many institutions from across India.
- Finally, it is expected that the Finance Minister would likely pay more attention to exploring the probabilities of Public-Private Partnership model in the education sector.
Were these expectations fulfilled by the Government through the Union Budget 2017 for Education Sector? Let us find out:
What is actually on the Budget towards Higher Education in Budget 2017?
Here is the highlight of Budget 2017 proposals for the education sector:
- It was announced that the National Agency for Testing will be entrusted with the responsibility of conducting all the national level entrance exams in higher education. This move, in turn, will free CBSE and also other agencies.
- The finance minister announced that in higher education, reforms will be done in the University Grants Commission and more institutions will be given autonomy status.
- The minister also proposed the launching of a system of yearly learning results in the schools. Further, he proposed setting up of a fund for innovation in the secondary education.
- To promote education and also telemedicine, Digi Gaon to be initiated by the Government.
- The important highlight in Budget 2017 for the education sector is the institution of 350 courses online. These courses will be introduced through the new SWAYAM online education portal.
- The government also promised in exploring the true competence of youth of the nation.
- It was proposed to introduce good quality institutions that will provide the best quality of education.
- In vocational training, the minister promised quality and market relevance
- From this year, the government has proposed to introduce skill strengthening with a budget of Rs.2200 crores.
- It is proposed to open two new AIIMS in Gujarat and Jharkhand states.
Highlights for the Education Sector in 2016:
- The government introduced Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to pay better attention towards the quality of education.
- Along with great online courses, entrepreneurship coaching was offered by the government as promised across colleges and schools in India
- To provide coaching to 76 lakh youth, the National Mission for Skill Development was inducted by the Government.
- To cover 6 crore extra rural households, the government launched the digital literacy scheme
- With a view to offer quality education, 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas were introduced by the government.
- For financing the higher education sector, the government allocated a fund of Rs.1000 crore.
- For diplomas and school leaving certificates, the government inducted a digital repository
- To promote business ownership among SC/ST, the government introduced a scheme worth Rs.500 crores.
- The government provided world-class facilities to 10 private and 10 pubic educational institutions across the country.
When analysing the budget 2017, experts in the education sector stated that their expectations were partly met by the budget. Even though many good things are introduced for the education sector in Budget 2017, they state that many things are not covered. However, it is expected that the government will make proper use of the budget allocation for the education sector and will make healthy moves towards the strengthening of this sector. Based on the moves made by the Government in 2016, it is expected that there will be better progress in 2017 as well.