Quoting Swami Vivekananda during his speech, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said- “The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life…is it worth the name?”
We are yet to decide whether the Union Budget of 2017 will prove itself beneficial for the education of the common masses or not! Under the scenario of the recent change in the leadership of the HRD Ministry, it was expected that the budget this time will be seriously inclined towards giving attention to the education sector. In addition to it this, another fact which is not unknown to people is that elections are near, under the pretext of which big announcements were naturally expected.
One of the major takeaways for the education sector this year came out in the form of the announcement of the establishment of an autonomous and self-sustained testing organisation under the banner of NTA (National Testing Agency) which will be conducting all major All-India tests from now on. A change which will significantly impact management and make it easier for the education bodies like - Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to focus on the educational arena.
In addition to this the establishment of two new AIIMS was announced; which are to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat. This will lead to an overall increase of medical seats by 5000. In a public scenario where there is an acute dearth of qualified doctors in measures of lakhs, the addition of 5000 doctors will be of use to which extent is yet to be seen. Still it’s a welcomed move which will enhance the quality of the healthcare sector in addition to increasing chances of students to get a seat in public medical colleges.
Another announcement regarding the establishment of 100 Indian International centres as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras to help Indian students in seeking jobs outside India was also made. The centres would be spread across the whole country for helping the youth in accessing employment opportunities in foreign lands.
A sum of Rs 2,200 crores was announced to be separately kept aside for the purpose of vocational training for making the youth of the country more able and skilled. This will be carried out under the Sankalp Programme which is expected to train 3.5 crore young Indians across the country. Innovation funds for the sector of secondary education were also announced.
Although some describe this year’s budget to be a cousin to that of last year’s, a number of people were disappointed as well. There has been a little more allocation of monetary resources to the education sector this year in comparison to the scene last year. Just like Last year promises have been made. The education sector was expecting a special budgetary allocation this year again. A number of points have been addressed while some are yet to be taken seriously. How good the budget will do to the education sector will be shortly unveiled in the time span of a year!