Mr Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions, and Chairman of FICCI Arise
The Union Budget 2023-24 spells out progressive initiatives and reforms for the Indian education sector in many areas, including skill development, teacher training, future readiness of learners, and greater accessibility of learning content.
The most outstanding feature of the budget is the announcement of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 which will be focused on skill development of youth in not just the conventional domains, but also new-age disciplines like Artificial Intelligence, robotics, the internet of things, and 3D printing. The Yojana will be an excellent catalyst for bringing skill development on par with academic excellence in the Indian education system by setting up 30 Skill India International Centres. It will also help to bring 20 million out-of-school children back into mainstream education. At the same time, the proposal of setting up three centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence in educational institutions is a welcome move towards creating human resources with competencies to leverage new technologies for innovations in different sectors. Additionally, the decision to extend a stipend to 47 lakh youth under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme through direct transfer benefits will help to boost employability and practical application of skills.
The Union Budget addresses the important issue of professional development and recruitment of teachers with the announcement of the District Institutes of Education and Training and the proposal to recruit over 38,800 teachers in Eklavya model residential schools.
The vision of the National Education Policy 2020 to make education equitable and inclusive will be furthered with the setting up of the National Digital Library for children and adolescents along with physical libraries at panchayats and wards, as recommended in the budget. This move shall make learning content accessible to millions of needy learners across the country.
All in all, this is a balanced budget that meets our expectations to strengthen the underpinnings of the Indian education sector for realizing the country’s demographic dividend and creating a knowledge-based economy.
-Prof Arvind Chaturvedi (Pro Vice-Chancellor, IILM University, Gurugram)
An 8% increase in allocation to the education sector (over 2022-23) is not sufficient. Higher allocation was expected this year.
Educationists were expecting a larger increase to meet the NEP target of 6% of GDP. In that sense it is disappointing.
However, the focus of FM budget proposals has been on IT education and skill development, which is welcome.
The highlights which India should appreciate are:
Target of training 47 lakh youths in 3 years under PMKVY 4.0, a national apprentice Scheme, on-the-job training in partnership with industry in coding /IOT/Drones/ Mechatronics/AI is indeed welcome as it will create a huge technically qualified manpower and India will be an IT superpower. 5G centers in 100 engineering colleges is appreciated.
Opening libraries, both digital and physical, in rural areas will go a long way in increasing literacy levels as well as the enrolment ratio in rural India.
Budget focus on primary teachers training, recruitment of 38000 teachers for Eklavya schools, and opening of 157 nursing colleges along with existing medical colleges is appreciated as a step in the right direction.
I especially welcome the plan to convert DIETs (District Institutes of Education & Training) into vibrant institutes of excellence.
India now has more private universities than the state & central universities and therefore liberal grants should have been announced for private education providers in the higher education sector.
In a related sector, the announcement of National Data Governance is a welcome step.
(1 February 2023)
Ms. Radhika Shrivastava, Executive Director, FIIB (Fortune Institute of International Business)
The announcement to strengthen teacher training via innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, continuous professional development, integration of ICT, and much more is a commendable initiative by the honorable Finance Minister to enhance the delivery of education and the implementation of technology in India’s education segment.
Also, the decision to transform the District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET) into vibrant institutes of excellence and establish a National Digital Library for children and adolescents will serve as a stepping stone for improving foundational literacy and numeracy among children.
Facilitating states to establish physical libraries at the panchayat levels and offer access to national digital library resources will further create a conducive learning environment and nurture communication and creative skills among students. Moreover, the decision to recruit 38,000 teachers and support staff for 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools is a thoughtful decision to move towards the uniform quality of education across the country.
Overall, the Union Budget 2023 unveils some key actions to overcome the learning losses of the Covid-19 pandemic, fueling the digitization of education and driving uniform delivery of education in the country. These announcements are expected to fast-track the implementation of NEP 2020 and achieve its end objectives.
Rajkishan S.S, Ph.D. | Professor of Economics IILM University Greater Noida
The debate is on the fact whether the last major budget before elections has lived up to its expectations or not! This budget will be touted as one which has something to please everyone! From the impressive hike in infrastructure spending to the increase in the number of Eklavya Model Residential schools benefiting 3.5 lakh tribal students, the setting up of a National digital library for Kids and adolescents and skill India international centers, and the tax rebates to the middle class, industry and the rich, the budget proposals are attractive. The catch always lies in the intent and speed of implementation!