Budget 2021: Expectations from education and EV players
Budget 2021 is just days away and a lot is riding on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s shoulders. After a tumultuous year, companies across sectors are waiting for this year’s Budget to grant some relief.
The education sector, too, has had its ups and downs in 2020. While schools shut down due to coronavirus lockdowns, disrupting the lives and education of over 260 million students across the country, edtech startups stepped in to fill the void and to ensure continuity in learning.
Last year also brought about new educational reforms in the form of the National Education Policy (NEP 2020), which brings foundational education into focus and stresses on experiential learning as opposed to scorecards and pass marks, has been hailed as “progressive” by most industry experts.
YourStory spoke to key edtech entrepreneurs, VCs, education financiers, schools and educational centres, to pin down the industry’s top expectations from this year’s Budget.
Last week, we also spoke to numerous stakeholders in the startup ecosystem. Players in fintech, ecommerce, MSME, and EV sectors outlined their expectations, while investors told us what Indian startups need to double down on innovations and building towards an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
The World Air Quality Report revealed that Delhi topped the list of most polluted capital cities in the world in 2019. It added that 21 of the world's 30 most polluted cities are in India. One of the ways to combat this menace is to shift towards cleaner sources of energy, moving away from heavily polluting fossil fuels. However, renewable or clean energy sources are just more expensive and do not make economic sense. Today, however, that argument falls flat.
ReNew Power’s Founder, Chairman, and Managing Director Sumant Sinha points out that “on a pure commercial basis, renewable energy today is 30 to 50 percent cheaper than coal-based power. And because it is cheaper, therefore, people don't want to buy this (coal) energy.”
Here are some key takeaways from the interview:
- Renewable energy over fossil fuels
- India’s move towards a leading renewable energy market
- A long road towards the shift to clean energy
This 17-year-old entrepreneur is providing blue and grey-collar workers employment
When the coronavirus-led lockdown first began, businesses were impacted overnight, leading to millions of job losses across sectors. Blue and grey-collar workers were massively affected, with many left with no option but to make the arduous journey back to their hometowns and look for other options. Realising the seriousness of this situation, 17-year-old Ahaan Aggarwal conceptualised and developed Junoon — a platform to help struggling workers. Ahaan began working on the platform in April, and in August 2020, Junoon, a simple, instruction-based online vocational training and job search platform focused on blue-collar and grey-collar jobs, was launched. Read more.
Editor’s Pick: Techie Tuesday
From Google to YouTube, and now Branch International, Benjamin Liebald's tech journey
Benjamin Liebald, CTO of Branch International, a Silicon Valley-based fintech startup, is currently working to deliver financial services to a mobile-first generation. Over the years, his interest in tech has evolved. During his university days, Benjamin was working on robotic systems. He went on to study ML, and eventually build systems at Google, and core personalisation recommendation engines at YouTube. However, a recipient of the Tech Emmy Award for the Development of Personalised Recommendation Engines for Video Discovery for YouTube, Benjamin’s initial career choice wasn’t in tech. Read more.
News & Updates
- On the occasion of National Voters’ Day, the Election Commission of India rolled out its digital voter identity cards e-EPIC on January 25. Users will be able to download the digital version of the elector photo identity cards on their mobile phone from the Voter Helpline mobile app.
- Amazon Inc. has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, seeking the detention of Future Group founders, including CEO Kishore Biyani, and seizure of their assets as it sought to block Future Group from selling retail assets to Reliance Industries.
- According to a UN report, India's economy is estimated to contract by 9.6 percent in 2020 as lockdowns and other containment efforts to control COVID-19 slashed domestic consumption without halting the spread of the disease.
- With the aim of doubling farmers' income by 2022, the Indian government is likely to raise the farm credit target to about Rs 19 lakh crore in Budget 2021, according to sources. For the current fiscal, it has set a farm credit target of Rs 15 lakh crore.
- Lauding India’s quick response in coming out with a vaccine to control COVID-19, President Ram Nath Kovind said India is rightfully being called the "pharmacy of the world" as it has not only rolled out vaccination for the domestic population but is also supplying it to other countries.
Before you go, stay inspired with…
“I have always believed that a scientific bent of mind and research will make India great... People say Indians are not capable of innovating, but this is one drug that should put India on the map of innovators.”