A well balanced budget is presented by Finance Minister today with a focus on addressing the three fundamental needs of education in India: access, quality and equity.
Access and reach will receive a significant boost with the provision of 350 online courses under SWAYAM. The promotion of digital platforms and use of technology will increase reach and access under Digital India and ensure digital learning in rural India. While the budget does not elaborate on how these programs will be linked to industry acknowledgement and acceptance, it will be useful to suitably link successful completion of these programs to industry acceptance, leading to improvement in employability and employment.
Quality of education is another focus area this year’s budget rightly tackles through reformation of UGC, helping provide increased autonomy for colleges and universities. Further, setting up of a national agency to help institutes like CBSE and ICSE to focus on quality rather than administrative work is a great step in this direction. This will help drive greater accountability in the system.
The extension of PM Kaushal Kendras to 600 districts and focus on 3,479 educationally backward blocks will promote basic education in rural areas and drive equitable access to opportunities for the rural youth. The efforts of our Finance Minister also tackles the issue of un-employability with a focus on generating jobs in tourism, launching India International centres and bringing opportunities for women employment through model shops and establishment bill.
The overall budget stands to make India as a bright spot in the world of economic landscape and we welcome the efforts of Finance Minister in justifying the allocation of resources towards development.
(This article has been authored by Mr. Deepak Mehrotra. He is Managing Director, Pearson India)