The Union Budget 2021 has quite a few offerings for the Education sector. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced before presenting the first set of the ’21 budget: “The Budget proposals for 2021-12 rest on six pillars: health & well-being, physical & financial capital & infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation & R&D, Minimum Govt & Maximum Governance. “
Some important highlights for EDUCATION include:
- 100 new Sainik schools to be set up in partnership with NGOs, private schools, and states. Introduction of the legislation to implement the setting-up of the Higher Education Commission of India in 2021.
- Over 15,000 schools to be qualitatively strengthened under National Education Policy (NEP).
- Under NEP 2020 Centre to be set up for higher education in Ladakh. Government to set up a Central University in Leh.
- Ministry of education given an allocation of Rs 93,224 crores. Of the total, the school education and literacy section allotted the majority of funds with Rs 54873.66 crore, and the remaining Rs 38,350.65 crore allotted to the higher education sector.
- National Language translation mission to translate policy-related information will be available on the internet in regional languages. This is in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
- Regional national institutes for virology to be set up.
- National Research Foundation (NRF) to get an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore over five years to strengthen research and focus on the national priority trust area.
- 750 Eklavya Model residential schools in tribal areas to be set-up. Increase unit cost for each school from Rs 20 crore to Rs 38 crore.
- The Apprenticeship Act to be amended to increase opportunities for students. It will be realigned for providing post-education apprenticeship.
- Senior and retired teachers to act as mentors of school teachers and educators through constant online and offline support on subjects, themes, and pedagogy.
- CBSE Board exam reforms, as mentioned in NEP, to be implemented in a phased manner to be effective from the 2022-23 academic session.
- A National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) to be set up within the context of a digital-first mindset where the Digital Architecture will not only support teaching and learning activities but also educational planning, governance and administrative activities of the Centre and the States/ Union Territories.
The Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal lauded the Union Budget 2021-22 and expressed his gratitude to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for majorly boosting the sector of education.