The Education sector received a boost of Rs. 93,224 but this boost is 6.13% less than the Budget Estimate 2020-2021. The total allocation of budget is Rs 54,873.66 crore for school education and Rs 38,350.65 crore for higher education.
A segment called as ‘Indian Knowledge systems’ has been created which will look into elements of knowledge from ancient India and its contributions to modern India and its successes and challenges.
This ancient India knowledge will be incorporated in an accurate and scientific manner throughout the school curriculum wherever relevant. A budget of Rs. 10 crore has been set aside for this segment.
The budget on Education mainly focuses on implementation of National Education Policy, International Research Collaborations and setting up of a Commission for Higher Education.
The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the NEP received a good acceptance from the people. She also stated that the youth of the country have abundant skills and it needs proper channelization. Such channelization would act in the favour of economic growth as well as help them with personal development.
Here is a list of pointers mentioned in the Education Budget 2021.
• 15000 schools will be strengthened in the initial phase of NEP implementation. These schools will work as models for NEP implementation as also mentor other schools across the country.
• 100 new Sainik (Army) schools will be established in collaboration with NGOs and private organizations.
• Under Annexure 5, other policies can be found that will be considered by the government.
• National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed to set standards for school teachers. Around 92 lakh teachers who are currently working in the public and private schools in the country will be impacted.
• A digital architecture will be set up under National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) which will help in educational planning, governance and administrative activities of the Centre and the States/ Union Territories.
• Sign language will be standardised across the country and a special curriculum will be developed in sign language by the Union Government
• 56 lakh school teachers will be trained in 2021-22 digitally under National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers for Holistic Advancement (NISTHA)
• To bring research institutions, colleges and universities in nine cities, a formal umbrella structures has been proposed to set up. A ‘Glue Grant’ will be set up for this purpose.
Apart from the changes mentioned above, there are few more changes which cater to the development of the Education. These changes are as mentioned below:
Setting up of Higher Education Commission
A commission for higher Education will be set up by the government to accredit schools and colleges as also regulate their funding. This will help the institute to work in harmony as a team. The government will establish a central university so as to make Higher Education accessible in Ladakh region.
Development of students who come under SC/ST categories
The government will set up 750 Ekalavya Model Residential Schools in the Tribal Areas under the Education budget 2021. The fund allocated for Tribal areas is Rs. 20 crore and that for Hilly areas is Rs. 48 crore. A total of Rs. 35219 crore is allocated for the welfare of SC students for 6 years till 2026.
Budget for Skill Development
A fund of Rs. 3000 crore has been allocated for realigning of apprenticeship for students from Diploma in Engineering. Government will collaborate with UAE for skill development and deployment on successful completion of courses.
Budget for Research and Development
Government has taken the few innovative initiative of collaborating with many countries to maintain the research ecosystem. To begin with, the Finance
Minister announces the collaboration with Japan for the sharing of technology and knowledge and partnership with United Arab Emirates (UAE) for to benchmark the skill levels of workforce.
The Education Budget 2021 will thus provide opportunity for growth and sustainable development.
Areas where more attention is required
As we are aware, the education sector was majorly disrupted by the pandemic. But the educational activities continued as the educational institutions adopted online mode of learning immediately.
The students in the urban areas could carry on with their classes but the children belonging to the rural areas struggled with many issues such as poor internet connectivity, power cuts and absence of internet based devices such as computers and mobile phones.
Thus the government should give more stress on making digital resources available to all the children. More expenditure can be planned for infrastructure, training the teachers and providing quality education digitally.
A key portion of India’s population consists of kids and young people. There is abundance of human resources available which can prove very beneficial for the development of the country.
Thus, investing more on such wealth on such useful resources can only yield great results in the long run. And the best way to mould the young population in the right way is to provide good quality education which is focused on practical knowledge and skills.