The Union Government has allocated Rs 99,300 crore for the education sector for the financial year 2020-21 in the Union Budget 2020. This is an increase of almost Rs 4,500 crore as compared to what was allocated to the sector in the financial year 2019-20.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union budget for the year 2020-21 on Saturday at the Lok Sabha and proposed a slew of measures to increase the quality of education provided to the students. The government has allocated Rs 59,845 crore for the Department of School Education and Literacy and Rs 39,466.52 crore to the Department of Higher Education. Last year, the government had allocated Rs 56,536.63 crore to the Department of School Education and Literacy, and Rs 38,317.01 crore to the Department of Higher education.
Other announcements that have been made in this yearâ€™s annual budget for the education sector are as follows:
National Education Policy to be announced soon: In 2019-20, the union government proposed a new National Education Policy, which was drafted by a committee headed by former ISRO Chief Dr K Kasturi Rangan. In this yearâ€™s budget, Nirmala Sitharaman stated that over 2 lakh suggestions have been received on the draft and that an announcement would be made soon regarding the policy.
Opening up of education sector to foreign funding: One of the major announcements made in budget 2020 is that the government will encourage External Commercial Borrowings and Foreign Direct Investments in the education sector to ensure quality education.
Developing employability of graduates: The union government made a slew of announcements targeting the development of employable skills in young graduates in the country. This includes a new scheme by which fresh engineers can take up year-long internships with Urban Local Bodies across the country and new apprenticeship courses which will be launched by 150 higher education institutions by March 2021.
Digital push to education: The finance minister has also announced that higher education institutions that are in the top 100 ranks as per the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) will offer full-fledged online education programme targeting students from the deprived sections of the society and those who do not have access to higher education.
Dedicated universities for police service and forensic sciences to be established.
Attaching a medical college to the district hospital under the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) mode.
This year, the union government has allocated Rs 3,000 crore specifically for developing the skill-sets. This will include upskilling of professionals like nurses, caregivers, teachers and para-medical staff who are in great demand abroad. â€śI propose that special bridge courses be designed by the Ministries of Health, Skill Development together with professional bodies to bring in equivalence. Language requirements of various countries need also to be included. All these should be achieved through special training packages,â€ť the finance minister said.