In order to boost the higher education sector and to make ‘world-class’ centres of learning in India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the budget for 2014-15 allocating budget which earmarked Rs 27,656 crore for higher education. It saw an increase of almost 13 percent over 2013.
Finance Minister said that the country needed large number of ‘world-class’ centres of higher learning. He also proposed to set up National Centre for Excellence in Humanities in Madhya Pradesh.
The allocation for the department of school education and literacy saw an increase of 9.93 percent over 2013-14. The government has set aside Rs.55,115.1 crore for the department for 2014-15.
HRD Minister Smriti Irani in a statement said the focus of the budget has been on education and skill development.
An amount of Rs 28,635 crore has been allocated for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) which aims to achieve universalisation of elementary education in a time bound manner. On the other hand Rs 4,966 crore is allocated for the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). It aim to enhance access to secondary education.
To motivate teachers and infuse new training tools, the ‘Pandit Madan mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme’ is being launched. Jaitley stated that a sum of Rs 500 crore has been set aside for the scheme.
The government also announced the setting up of five new IITs and IIMs.
While the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) were proposed to be set up in Jammu, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, the IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) would be set up in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra.
The government further announced that a school assessment programme was being initiated at a cost of Rs.30 crore.