Union Budget 2019 India: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her first maiden budget, which also is the first budget of the re-elected Narendra Modi government. Even as all the sectors of the economy are pinning high hopes from the finance minister, it is yet to be seen who gets how much. Starting with the education sector, here we would analyse how much was allocated to it in the first term of the same government.
Beginning with budget 2014-15, the year when the first full-fledged budget of the government was presented, the sector received a huge allocation of over Rs 82,000 crore, albeit it was later cut massively in the revised estimates to just a tad above Rs 69,000 crore. The budget announced education schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
From there on, the budget spend on education has seen a steady rise, increasing to about Rs 72,000 crore in FY 2016-17, and then to well over Rs 79,000 crore in FY 2017-18. In the penultimate year of the Narendra Modi’s first term government, the allocation for education had risen to as high as Rs 85,000 crore.
The interim budget presented by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced an allocation of the total amount of Rs 94,000 crore for the education sector, marking an increase of over 10 per cent from the last budgetary allocation. The general budget for 2019-20 would be tabled in the parliament on July 5, 2019.
Meanwhile, the role of technology in boosting the education sector stood out among the major highlights of the last budget. Technology will be the biggest driver in improving the quality of education and proposed to increase the digital intensity in education and move gradually from ‘black board’ to ‘digital board’, Piyush Goyal had said in his budget speech. The government also dedicated a digital infrastructure for teachers named DIKSHA targeting to empower school teachers with access to innovative tech-based solutions.