Union Budget 2022: A digital university, One Class One Channel and many other schemes rolled out under education

The Union Budget 2022 pegged an estimated budget of Rs 1,04,277.72 crore which is an increase of Rs 11,053.72 crore from FY20-21.

One Class One TV channel programme to be expanded to 200 TV channels under PM e-vidya scheme to provide supplementary education to the rural students
One Class One TV channel programme to be expanded to 200 TV channels under PM e-vidya scheme to provide supplementary education to the rural students

The estimated budget allocated for the education sector in the Union Budget 2022 is Rs 1,04,277.72 crore which is an increase of Rs 11,053.72 crore from FY20-21 the allocated budget for education that was Rs 93,224 crore. Rs 63,449.47 crore has been allocated to the Department of School Education and Literacy whereas Rs 40,828.35 crore has been allocated to the Department of Higher Education.

While presenting the Union Budget 2022 for the education sector in the Parliament, the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman focused on the skill development and provision of world-class education to students across the country for the education sector. Sitharaman announced the launch of a digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood (DESH-Stack e-portal) to promote online training  along with the formation of a digital university to establish a world-class education ecosystem. The digital university will impart teaching in regional languages and ICT (information and communication technology) formats. It will be built on a networked hub-and-spoke model and collaborate with other central universities to offer the necessary digital training and infrastructure. Sitharaman further added, the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) will be aligned with the needs of dynamic industry.

The budget highlighted the importance of digital learning for students which has been affected due to prolonged closure of schools and colleges. To fulfill this loss of learning due to pandemic, Sitharaman announced One Class One TV channel programme to be expanded to 200 TV channels under PM e-vidya scheme to provide supplementary education to the rural students. The finance minister also mentioned setting up of foreign universities to offer courses on management, fintech, science, technology and mathematics. The syllabus of Agricultural University will be revised to promote the need of natural, zero-budget and organic farming.

Moreover, the budget focused on the skill development wherein the startups will be encouraged to facilitate Drone Shakti for Drone-As-A-Service. And all state ITIs will include new skill development courses to empower youth of the country with the latest skills. The budget further highlights implementation of virtual labs and skilling e-labs to promote critical thinking skills and stimulated learning environment. 

Let’s see what the experts from the education sector has to say about the budget 2022.

Maneesh Dhooper, co-founder, PlanetSpark

“Skill training and digital learning were expected to be the key focus areas in the Union Budget 2022. Several initiatives and propositions such as DESH-Stack e-portal, Digital University, this year’s education budget did justice to the educators’ expectations. With these initiatives, there will be a higher emphasis on the career-orientedness of education. Additionally, the expansion of One Class One TV channel program will be significant in amplifying the reach of e-content, especially in rural and suburban regions where internet connectivity is still an issue. The focus on the growth of “Digital India” will not only influence the growth of digital learning and other edTech verticals but will also influence edTech companies to streamline their curricula and propositions in alignment with the country’s growing inclination towards building a digital economy.”

Piyush Nangru, co-founder and COO, Sunstone Eduversity

The Union Budget 2022 lays the groundwork for an employment-centric education ecosystem by establishing an API-based digital skilling platform (DESH-Stack e-portal) for skilling, upskilling, and reskilling youth to make them career-ready. The Government’s vision for a future educational framework is consistent with that of the Indian edTech sector and the education budget 2022 is aligned with the NEP 2020. The budget advanced the vision of education digitization through the creation of a digital university, regional e-content delivery, and the expansion of the e-vidya program. The education provisions in the budget leave a promising space for exploring synergies and public-private partnerships to accelerate learning outcomes, make education more accessible, and bring cutting-edge technologies into the ecosystem.

Sanjay Gupta, vice-chancellor, World University of Design

This year’s budget is a growth-oriented budget wherein the focus has been on those sectors which will be relevant in the next 10 years. Announcement of the initiatives like PM e-Vidya -One Class One channel programme will provide access to education to everyone in the country in regional language and will have a long-term impact. This is also in line with NEP, which talks about teaching in regional languages in school, and with this move, anyone will be able to access education.

Achin Bhattacharyya, founder and CEO, Notebook

Expansion of One class One TV channel programme of PM e-vidya from 12 to 200 TV channels will encourage supplementary education in regional languages which is the need of the hour as language cannot act as a barrier to receiving a quality education, especially for first-generation learners. Encouraging PPP projects will help in a centralised build-up of quality content in regional languages and ensure their easy access through mass mediums which will help the country to reap the demographic dividend in the years to come. The plan of developing a digital university to provide access for world-class quality education will give a huge boost to learning. This announcement by the FM has the potential to bring in globally renowned faculty members and students from all over the world, ensuring excellent peer to peer discussion and discourse. It’s time to build centres of excellence that will make India proud.

Mr. Shashank Patidar, co-founder, WeSkill 

The PM eVidya Scheme announced by the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is an excellent initiative by the government. Besides, the expansion of the ‘One Class One TV channel’ programme to 200 TV channels will allow state governments to provide students with high-quality education in their respective regional languages. However, we would have also liked to see more steps from the government in terms of better implementation of the NEP (National Education Policy) with new directives in the academic year. Nonetheless, this year’s Budget announcements will offer every student across India access to quality education, provided the measures are implemented effectively.

Yeshwanth Raj Parasmal, Co-founder, 21K School

The Finance Minister has unveiled a Budget that aims to bridge the economic gap between India and Bharat. The proposed policies are an inspiring start in what will hopefully provide stimuli for continued growth, leading us closer towards our goal of achieving sustained acceleration. The announcement of Digital University is most welcome and in line with the trend of online schools across the country. But, it misses the opportunity to leapfrog with more significant innovation and investment for improved access, equity and affordability. The structural flaws of the education sector and problems on the ground could have been addressed. Exciting times are ahead for Digital Education.

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First published on: 01-02-2022 at 14:36 IST