Budget 2020: FM allocates Rs 99,300 Cr for education sector, Rs 3,000 Cr for skill development
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2020, spoke about education and skills under the theme 'Aspirational India'.
“By 2030, India is set to have the largest working age population in the world,” she said, focussing on bringing quality education to the country and making it equivalent to the foreign standards.
Sitharaman outlined that a new education policy by the Centre will be announced soon, for which the government has already received over two lakh suggestions. The Finance Minister also proposed an allocation of Rs 99,300 crore for the education sector and Rs 3,000 crore for skill development in 2020-21. External commercial borrowings and FDI will also be leveraged to improve the education system.
To ensure access to education for everyone, including the economically disadvantaged students, the Centre has allocated degree-level full-fledged online education programmes to be offered by institutes ranked in the top 100 by the National Institutional Ranking Framework. More internship opportunities and diploma courses will also be introduced by the year 2021.
“The National Police University and National Forensic University will be introduced soon. IN-SAT exam will be held in African and Asian countries to benchmark foreign students," Sitharaman said.
The government has also proposed to attach medical colleges with district hospitals on a PPP model to deal with the shortage of doctors.
Sitharaman said there is a huge demand for teachers, nurses, para medical staff, and caregivers abroad. However, she said that these are not at par with the foreign standards. Hence, special bridge courses by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be designed for them to bring equivalence with the foreign standards.
She also stated that urban local bodies need to provide internship of one year for young engineers who want to work with the government.
To improve employment opportunities for students in non science and technology streams, she said about 150 higher education institutions will start apprenticeship and embedded degree diploma courses by March 2021.
During Budget 2019, Sitharaman had announced a ‘Study in India’ programme focused on bringing foreign education students to study in India’s higher education institutions. She also said that the government will also ensure industry relevant skill training for 10 million youth in India.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)