Union Budget 2023-24 Education sector welcomes setting up of National Digital Library

 Union Budget 2023-24 Education sector welcomes setting up of National Digital Library

Team L&M

The education sector has received its highest-ever allocation of Rs 1.12 lakh crore in the Union Budget 2023-24. Allocation for school education has increased by eight per cent from Rs 63,449 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 68,804 crore in 2023-24. Educationists as also the edupreneurs are elated with the new measures taken by the government.

Lejo Sam Oommen, MD ETS India

Lejo Sam Oommen, MD ETS India

The Union Budget has provided an excellent roadmap for upskilling of youth in the country – this will provide impetus to growth and job creation for India’s young demographic. The decision to set up 30 Skill India International Centres across different states have the potential to meet the human resource needs of not just India but also global markets. Likewise, the apprenticeship scheme that will benefit 4.7 million youth could also support resourcing in global markets. This budget truly paves the way for internationalization of not just education but also India’s skilling prowess.

Bhavesh Goswami, Founder & CEO, CloudThat
It is a bit disappointing to see that the GST has not been reduced for education. Ed Tech companies today are on the rise and carry huge potential to help the government and industries. I wish the budget had more room for this.

Ratnesh Jha, CEO, Burlington Group

The Union budget of this year is positioned to take India to the world in the “Amrit kaal”. The Hon’ble FM has rightly laid out the longer-term vision for technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with schemes such as PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 designed to upskill youth and them employable. Our young population will need the right set of language and soft skills along with tech exposure to meet the growing demands of the industry, and budget 2023 lays a perfect foundation to enable that.

Divya Gokulnath, Co-founder, BYJU’S
With a focus on digitalization and formalization, the budget is investing in digital public infrastructure that will position India for continued growth and competitiveness. The education sector is a key area of investment, with the launch of PM Schools for Rising India, the recruitment of 38,800 teachers, and the establishment of a National Digital Library for children. These initiatives will help equip students with the skills and knowledge needed for success in the future, and the emphasis on teacher training and innovative pedagogy will ensure that the quality of education in India continues to improve. This forward-thinking budget sets India on a path towards self-reliance and global competitiveness.

 Devyani Jaipuria, Chairperson, Dharav High School

The clear commitment to setting up 30 India International Skill centers across states under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will not only train and build skills among children but also help in channelising the efforts to make India the source of skilled manpower for the world. Reimagining teacher education and plans to develop the district education institution as a vibrant center for teacher training will re-envision innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, continuous professional development dipstick survey, and iCT implementation. However, the announcement on digital learning emerged as the showstopper. The renewed push for the national digital university that was announced last year and the development of 100 labs that would ride on the 5G network and serve as one destination for students and young minds to create apps for utilization in education and other domains will benefit both the academicians and the industry. Overall, while the budget shared some encouraging points such as a reduction of interest on education loans,
an exemption of GST on CSR funds would have made it more comprehensive and enabled more students to continue education
as well as encouraged more corporates to sponsor student education.

Dr Shuchi Gautam, I/C Director, Thakur Global Business School,
Kandivali, Mumbai

The budget 2023 is a steadfast and visionary step towards aligning education with future demands. The establishment of the National Digital Library will foster a culture of knowledge acquisition and reading. The robust emphasis on digitization evident in the budget will enhance the efficacy of the Indian higher education system. By prioritizing PMKVY 4.0, skill development, job creation, and industry-aligned curriculum, the country’s youthful workforce will be equipped with the skills necessary to meet the demands of future employment. This will seamlessly bridge the divide between education and employment opportunities. The budget has given impetus to the fundamental principles of the New Education Policy and there is a need to empower Private Self-Financed institutions with more flexible policies, which play a significant role in increasing the gross enrolment ratio of the nation.

Pankaj Agarwal, CEO & Founder, TagHive
In alignment with the NEP, the government’s focus on building a digital library and pushing for device-agnostic digital learning methodology, while also facilitating upskilling of teachers, are all powerful steps in the direction of tech-enabled learning processes. Further, with an aim to add more teachers and support personnel for the Eklavya model residential schools for tribal students, with access to world-class quality education, would also give children access to high-quality literature, boosting their learning experience and propelling our country forward. Apart from the focus on empowering education, the revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs through the infusion of Rs 9,000 crore in the corpus, will further enable education tech start-ups and MSMEs, working towards building innovative solutions in the sector. Overall, the budget is a constructive step forward to making India a knowledge-driven global economy.”

Dr Amit Tuteja, founder of Connecting Dreams Foundation
The employment of nearly 40 thousand teachers and support staff in the next three years for 740 Eklavya model schools supporting tribal students will enable more people from rural areas to access quality education. In addition, the set-up of a National Digital Library will also encourage access quality books and innovative learning for children and adolescents. However, it is expected that these books are also available in the regional languages for comprehend better learning.

Dr Ashwini Kumar Sharma, Director General, VIPS, Delhi

The focus on empowering our youth with skills is the major highlight of this budget and this will be one of the clear distinctions that will define our future. The announcements on spurring innovation through setting up institutions for AI and 5G labs will be immensely helpful in building foundation for a technology and knowledge-based economy.

Anish Srikrishna, CEO, TimesPro
The budget has ushered a slew of initiatives by emphasising the National Education Policy’s skilling outlook. We welcome the move and expect public-private cooperation to meet the goals of this initiative, accelerating India’s transition to an Industry 4.0 economy.
The three AI centres of excellence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ will benefit the development of digital infrastructure and skills in India. At a time when skilling and reskilling are critical for India’s youth, the government’s recognition of the need for skilling is an encouraging move for the Higher Education and H.EdTech sectors. However, we continue to believe that
lowering the GST on professional learning programmes would have made modern learning more accessible and affordable,
assisting millions of learners in becoming future-ready.

Dr Alam A Sisodia, General Secretary, Vidya Bharati School

The Government of India’s NEP is very ambitious, and a solution-based approach is needed to close the gaps that exist in the sector. The current budget, which focuses on teacher training and establishing a national digital library, will address gaps and improve the ecosystem for better education.

Shantanu Rooj, CEO & Founder, TeamLease Edtech
The Indian education system has always complained of non-availability of quality teachers. The current impetus on recruiting a large number of teachers and creating a sustainable teachers training program equipping them with multilateral skills will go a long way in improving the quality of education in Indian schools. Recruiting teachers and providing them with relevant skills such that they can impart the right knowledge and skills will help in building employable youth in India.

Prof Madhushree Sekher, Dean, School of Vocational Education,
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

We heartily embrace the emphasis in this Union Budget 2023 on cultivating skills in accordance with the National Education Policy and economic initiatives aimed at generating employment opportunities for the younger generation. The nationwide apprenticeship program and the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will empower and inspire countless young people to sharpen their abilities for more promising career prospects. Meanwhile, this budget brings cheer to the teaching community as they will undergo training through innovative teaching methods, curriculum transformation, continuous professional development, and the implementation of ICT. The establishment of an additional 30 Skill India International Centers, offering cutting-edge programs in fields such as coding, AI, IOT, mechatronics, drones, and the enhancement of various soft skills, as announced in this budget, is a phenomenal initiative. The budget as a whole is a positive step towards the growth and advancement of the vocational education within the education sector.

Prashant Gupta, CEO & Founder, Caerus3 Advisors, and Think-Tank
This is indeed a very forward looking budget; its populist as it gives much needed Tax relief to Middle class and futuristic as it creates 3 Centres of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence in top Institutions. ESG remain areas of focus as there is greater focus on reducing dependence on  fossil fuel and setting up green credit program.

Prasad Pardeshi, Dean, RBK Educational Institutions, Mumbai

The budget’s emphasis on addressing the deleterious effects of learning loss and fostering the provision of superior education for young people was a critical and long-overdue initiative in the educational realm. The finance minister astutely championed the utilization of digital pedagogy as a means of mitigating the learning disruption caused by the pandemic, thereby taking a decisive step forward in post-covid recovery. The establishment of a national digital library for children and the promotion of physical libraries at various levels, with essential amenities, to allow access to the digital resources, is a commendable decision taken within this budget. The budget has undoubtedly brought joy to the teaching profession as well. This budget aspires to elevate education and hone skills across the country, marking a pivotal stride in elevating the educational landscape.”

Dr Yajulu Medury, Vice Chancellor, Mahindra University

The budget provides a much-needed impetus towards empowering the education sector and youth towards helping them realize their true potential. The setting up of 100 5G enabled labs to develop apps in engineering institutions and 3 centers of excellence in Artificial Intelligence is a major step towards ‘Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India’ and helps in shaping the new engineer of today. The 30-skill India international centres across states will further promote interdisciplinary research for developing cutting-edge applications to transform critical sectors and provide solutions for sustainable cities. In order to bridge the skill gap in India, the budget is in line with Mahindra University’s focus on integrating critical thinking and problem-solving through a dynamic and diverse curriculum.”

Dr Shilpa Ajay, Professor and Head, Department of Management Studies,
Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Bengaluru
It is promising to see the efforts of the government to strengthen the NEP with the focus of the Union Budget on skilling and job creation. This union budget has tried to cope up with the pre-budget expectations to a limited margin, especially in the Educational sector. The establishment of 100 labs for developing 5G applications in engineering institutions, as well as the emphasis on teacher training and the establishment of centers of excellence for artificial intelligence, will undoubtedly contribute to a knowledge-driven economy and provide new opportunities for employment and growth. This budget truly recognizes the critical role of education and engineering in driving innovation and progress, and I am excited to see the positive impact these initiatives will have on our future workforce. We hope to see a strong implementation process resulting in the development of the educational sector to a good extent.

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