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Union Budget 2019-20: Emphasis on World Class Institutions, encouraging research and sports

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Union Budget 2019

In its commitment to providing quality education to Indian youth, The central Government has focused on establishing more world class educational institutes in the country.

In the Union Budget 2019-20 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5, 2019, she announced, “400 crore rupees have been allocated for World Class Institutions in 2019-20 which is more than three times of the revised estimates of previous year.”

As the research helps in improving the education system, Sithraman discussed the Government’s commitment regarding the same while presenting the budget. She said, “National Research Foundation (NRF) to be set up to strengthen overall research ecosystem in the country; funds available under all Ministries to be integrated with NRF.”

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According to Sitharaman, the Government will also emphasise on bringing in the foreign students. “In this regard #StudyInIndia to be started to bring in foreign students into Indian higher education system,”said the finance minister.

To ensure holistic development of students, the Government will also focus on popularising the sports in education. Describing about the initiative in this regard, Sitharaman said, “To popularize sports at all levels, National Sports Education Board for development of sportspersons to be set up under Khelo India.”

Education Sector’s Reactions

Amol Arora, MD – Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools

“This budget is guided by the mission to strengthen the Education Sector especially the establishment of the ‘National Research Foundation’-which will definitely help in creating the right ecosystem for R&D in the country. And it was great to see the government finally taking notice of industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT, Big Data and reforms in the higher education sector. A humble yet notable announcement was the ‘Study in India’ Programme, which holds the potential to put India on the world map. However, we still need a series of fundamental structural reforms – which I hope will be addressed in the near future.”

Beas DevRalhan, Co-founder and CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd

“The Union Budget 2019 has proposed significant changes which have the capability to revitalise the education sector. Apart from focusing on improving research and higher education via the National Research Foundation, it has promoted play-based early childhood education and high-quality teacher training via the new National Education Policy. The government has also proposed to increase efforts in skills development of our youth by incorporating new technologies in education such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and new learning strategies such as virtual realities and robotics. Furthermore, in an admirable move, the National Sports Education Board for the development of skilled sportsmen is to be set up under “Khelo India” project, so as to promote enthusiasm in sports as an important part of the development of today’s learners.”

Dr. Jitin Chadha, Founder and Director, Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF)

“While it is heartening to see the Government finally focusing on the most crucial areas of higher education and research, through initiatives like the National Research Foundation and the allocation for developing world-class institutions which will pay rich dividends in the long run, I don’t think the problem of human capital formation in the next 5-10 years has been adequately addressed. The Budget has shown a willingness to bring in foreign funding and expertise in areas like aviation and insurance but is silent on steps to harness best-in-class higher education from across the world and make it accessible for our youth. This is crucial because we find ourselves faced with the contemporaneous challenges of a rapidly growing yet grossly under-skilled workforce. We must alleviate this relatively quickly so that they can start helping the country reap a demographic dividend.”

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