Budget 2021: Expectations from education and EV players

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.
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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.  

Infographic: Anubhav Anurag

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 Interview 

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

Startup Spotlight

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

Ahaan Aggarwal, Founder, Junoon


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


Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Executive chairman of Biocon

“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.” 

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon Limited 


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