Bhubaneswar: The Union Budget of 2023 has been a major step forward in terms of educational reforms in India & escalating the country onto a world-class educational hub, said Dr Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International Group.
Below are the points highlighted by Dr Sahoo on the budget’s focus on education, entrepreneurship and job creation:
The government has allocated a substantial funding of 1,12,898 crore for the Ministry of Education, the highest-ever allocation towards the education sector. Allocation for school education has increased by 8 percent from Rs 63,449 crore (Budget Estimate) in 2022-23 to Rs 68,804 crore in 2023-24. Further, higher education has received Rs 44,094 crore in 2023-24, an increase of 7.9 percent from Rs 40,828 crore (Budget Estimate) in 2022-23.
Benefit: The NEP is based on five essential pillars, Access, Affordability, Equity, Quality and Accountability. A greater inflow of money into the education sector will contributing towards strengthening all five of these fundamentals.
Contributions towards the expansion & improvement of school infrastructure, increasing the quality of higher education, increasing access to technology, and expanding research and innovation.
Benefit: It is only with better digital infrastructure & quality education, that can improve the accessibility to skill development across India, especially in lower-tier cities and rural areas.
The budget has promptly addressed the gender gap in access to education with setting aside about 5% of the total expenditure allocated towards issues affecting women in the gender budget, providing equitable access to education for girls.
Benefit: It not only brings the importance of equity in education to the forefront but seeks to make it a reality. When children of both sexes and all sections of the society get education under a single roof, achieving equity in education takes the shape of being real.
With one of the prominent focuses this year being job creation for youth in India (Amrit Kal) to foster entrepreneurship, the budget also provides for a massive expansion of scholarships and fellowships through centres of excellence, as well as funding for teacher training & development & introduction of digital libraries.
Benefit: To spur a culture of entrepreneurship & innovation among the youth, maximizing their placement success rates through quality student-centric experiential learning. Teachers’ training re-envisioned through innovative pedagogy, to upskill teachers & address the learning gap in a technology driven education ecosystem.
Bringing forth a framework of constant upskilling via Mission Karma Yogi and increasing digitalisation as the new age learning form, impetus has been paid to financial literacy & multidisciplinary learning for medical tech.
Benefit: This will ensure the availability of skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies and research
The National Book Trust to further inculcate the habit of reading is a promising endeavour this year.
Benefit: To build a culture of reading & facilitate the availability of quality books across geographies, languages, genres and levels and device-agnostic accessibility
“Overall, Budget 2023 has made some great strides to uplift the educational system of the country,” she added.