Union Budget 2022-23: The government needs to provide better internet infra, robust data protection systems, tax exemptions to boost the education sector
The Union Budget for the year requires a real balancing act with so many issues and gaps across the sectors and education is not an exception. For all the various stakeholders the education sector has been a critical year with schools being closed for months and education continuing nationwide via various online platforms and education tech portals.
Need to invest in technology
The prolonged period of the pandemic has definitely arisen the need for investment in technology in the education sector and its high time that the government starts seriously thinking about the same. The need of the hour is to digitally connect the schools, colleges, and other educational institutes of the country to ensure a smooth glitch-free online education for the students of the country.
According to the estimate given by KPMG, the number of edtech startups in the country grew to 3,500 in the previous year as the government’s projections this number is expected to rise to $10 trillion by 2030. The virtual norm of education requires penetration into both rural and urban India. This can only be possible when the government provides better internet infrastructure, robust data protection systems and also tax exemptions in the upcoming Budget. The government should support the initiatives taken by the edtech startups so that we can become the global hub of digital education.
Schools, colleges need to revamp education models
The National Education Policy (NEP 2020) has already led to the enormous skill development of youth in India. The schools and colleges need to revamp their education models in order to comply with NEP 2020. This definitely requires additional government funding which is expected in budget 2022.
The government is expected to focus on the implementation of the new policy through quality and tax-free education and skill development which in turn will lead to job creation in the country. The government should focus on digital education in Tier 2 and 3 cities of the country.
FDI, private investments needed
The changes foreseen by NEP 2020 cannot happen only with government funds; FDI and private investments need to be encouraged in mainstream education. The Budget should also provide incentives and supports to the institutes and universities to conduct research and support in the form of scholarships to the students who are keen on developing and designing innovative products.
Higher outlay needed
The prime focus of the Budget should be that each rupee spent should benefit as many children as possible in our country when there is a paradigm shift in the education sector. One also expects that the allocation to higher education increases in India to cater to the quality of human capital which in turn will help in becoming ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. This in turn will also help in improving the quality of the workforce and bring it as par the global standards post-pandemic world.
The author is Associate Professor, Controller of Examinations, TA Pai Management Institute, Manipal. Views are personal.