Union Budget 2020: Key highlights for Education sector

Union Budget 2020: Key highlights for Education sector

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New Delhi, Updated on Feb 1, 2020 23:06 IST

The Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union budget 2020-21 before the parliament on February 1, 2020. Know the key highlights of the budget 2020 for the education sector below.

In the Union budget 2020 tabled today, the Union Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a number of reforms and new announcements for job creation and skill development of the young population of India. The budget highlighted the need for jobs in the market. Read below the major highlights of the budget 2020 for the education sector:

FDI and ECB in education

In the budget 2020, Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister of India has allocated Rs 99,300 crore for the education sector. Moreover, a total of Rs 3,000 crore has been allocated for the skill development sector. In the budget, the Union Finance Minister has proposed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in education. She also pitched for External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) in education.

Degree level full-fledged online education programme

She also announced to start a degree level full-fledged online education programme to offer quality education to students of deprived section. More than 150 higher education institutions would begin apprenticeships, as per her speech. For fresh engineers, urban local entities would offer internship opportunities for a year.

University for police and forensic

Apart from this, one university each is proposed for the police and the forensic department by the name of National Police University and National Forensic University respectively. Under PPP mode, one medical college would be attached to existing district hospitals. This would help deal with the shortage of qualified medical doctors.

Common Eligibility Test for non-gazetted government jobs

The government will implement the National Education Policy. There will be a Common Eligibility Test (CET) held for all the non-gazetted government jobs. Considering the high demand of teachers, nurses, paramedical staff and caregivers in foreign countries, the government has proposed bridge courses for providing skills to mould candidates as per the requirements of the job.

Online education by top 100 NIRF institutes

For the betterment of minorities and deprived youngsters, a degree level online education programme will be started by the top 100 NIRF institutes. The education sector has witnessed an increase of more than Rs 5,000 crore in the amount of budget allocation as compared to the last union budget. Last year, an amount of Rs 93,847 crore was allocated for the education sector.

By the year 2030, India will become a country of the most working-age population. This is why there has been a lot of emphasis on the improvement of education and it also stressed upon the need to develop skills of the youth. The Government received more than two lakh suggestions for the better of National Education Policy.      

Some of the reactions on the Union Budget 2020-21: 

“It is on healthy lines for education sector as Finance Minister of the country, Nirmala Sitharaman, has allocated Rs 99,300 Crore for it. In addition, Rs 3,000 Crore are for skill development along with a new education policy soon to be announced. On the allied lines, Rs 2.8 Trillion is for the agriculture sector, which is also in favour of students and youth community along with the farmers. Through such implementations, the country can grow jobs by focusing on exports, through the integration of innovative produce, assemblages in the country with the ‘Make in India’ scheme. The budget is also welcoming as it caters to the interests of all investors, farmers and, above all, the middle class. Indeed, it is aimed at boosting income and purchasing power of the people of the country.” - Mr. Ramesh Mittal, Chairman, Lovely Group

"The Finance Minister has announced a forward-looking budget that recognises the urgent need to bridge India’s skill gap by encouraging the education sector. Allowing Foreign investments and external corporate borrowings by educational institutions will provide much needed new funding sources to facilitate their growth. Further, offering full degree programmes online will enable those who cannot access regular colleges to avail of the qualifications they need to gain full employment. As education is a state subject, it is good to see that the central government is coordinating with each state to encourage the implementation of the New Education Policy at the grassroots. Additionally, new technologies are often the drivers of the economic growth of nations. Encouraging student engineers to get internships in local bodies will help in equipping them with real-world job skills required to work with, and develop these new technologies to help our country join the ranks of other developed nations." - Dr. Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, The Shahani Group
"As higher education evolves in line with technology, formal education is increasingly replaced by specialised online programs. Allowing the top 100 NIRF ranked institutes to award online degree is a step in the right direction to bestow students with skills and formal degrees without the need to be on campus physically. Our institutions are woefully poor in infrastructure and the government’s ability to invest for modern infrastructure has been crippled mainly due to heavily subsidised centrally run institutions. Therefore, it is a logical and welcome move that this budget proposes FDI and ECB would help accelerate investments and aid research and better academic delivery. Budgetary allocations at Rs 99,300 cr is marginally higher by 4.6% over 2019 as compared 10% rise in last year’s budget. With an overall fiscal crisis and economic downturn, one could not have expected better. This budget again talks about a study in India initiatives and launching NEP which is almost a repetition of last year. Implementing NEP will require consensus building particularly with many states now ruled by the opposition. What is needed is a pragmatic approach and a need for dialogue with different stakeholders with a sense of urgency. To summarise, there is something to cheer in terms of allowing ECB/FDI and granting online degrees but reforms on the education sector not adequately addressed in this budget." - Mr. P. N. Hariharan, CFO, ITM Group of Institutions
"Overall, the budget touched the right chords. In line with the previous budgets, even this year’s the Finance Minister delivered a forward-looking budget. Government efforts are concentrated towards continuous decreasing of fiscal deficit and increase of direct tax collections. Continuing with the traditional bahi-khata while emphasizing on harnessing India’s tourism power commercially. The government has raised curiosity with the announcement to introduce the New Education Policy soon. FM seems to be hinting at keeping all options open when she stated ‘External Commercial Borrowings & FDI shall be tapped to ensure delivery of Quality Higher Education’. Taking forward last year’s emphasis on skill-training, FM has proposed to introduce Apprenticeship programmes among 150+ higher education institutes by March 2021. In addition, she has hinted at Urban Local Bodies providing internship opportunities to fresh engineers. This is a welcome step towards greater collaboration between Industry & Academia. FM has also paved the way for Top 100 NIRF ranked institutes to provide online degrees, thus opening the door for parallel learning and skilling themselves as per their requirements. The government has allocated INR 3000 Cr for skill development while allocating INR 93300 Cr for Education ." - Mr. Nilesh Gaikwad, Country Manager, EDHEC Business School


"Budget 2020 truly sharpens the country’s focus on becoming the next global hub for education. Significant announcements like the introduction of FDI in the education sector, the launch of ‘Study in India’ programme, new apprenticeship programmes and online degree courses, besides the continued budget allocation for skill development, reiterate the government’s commitment towards the youth of our country. I am confident that these strategic initiatives will play a decisive role in the building of a New Digital India." - Dr Sanjay Gupta, Vice Chancellor, World University of Design

"With umpteen focused initiatives like – FDI, emphasis on new skill development and entrepreneurship, launch of new online degree courses /apprenticeship programmes and allocation of Rs 99,300 crore for world-class education, Budget2020 will help position India as a global educational hub. We appreciate the launch of the ‘Study in India’ programme which will enable foreign students to apply for scholarships to study in India. Overall, we believe that this renewed push on providing quality education and enhancing the skills of our youth will help India play a lead role in shaping the global economy in the future." - Mr. P. K. Gupta, Chancellor, Sharda University

"We are optimistic about the opportunities that the budget throws open for the education sphere with an allocation of INR 93,800 crores of which INR 3000 crores is dedicated to skilling. The Finance Ministry’s focus on skill development will enable job creation which will compel more students to upskill. The proposed online education programme to provide quality education to students is a reformist step. This will help in gathering on-job experience and further employment. Initiatives such as ‘Study in India’ and ‘Skill India Mission’ will be instrumental in increasing the quality of education in India. Focus on National Education Policy, External Commercial Borrowing and FDI are clearly set to strengthen the overall educational ecosystem. Additionally, the reduction in the limit for NBFCs eligibility for debt recovery under the SARFAESI Act 2002 will be a tailwind for the sector." - Mr. Amit Gainda, Chief Executive Officer, Avanse Financial Services

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