Budget Reactions


Focus on Research & development

It is heartening to see that in the Union Budget 2018, the Finance Minister has allocated Rs 1 lakh crore till 2022 to push research in technical and medical education under the Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE). Technology which is the biggest driver in the education sector, will alone not enable, since it functions in our social system, and there are serious social challenges that the country still needs to address. I was also looking for specific incentives to enhance private and philanthropic participation and industry-academia collaboration in the sector, given that India spends only 0.7 per cent of its GDP on research. A strong governmental push in the form of an innovation policy will help. The ‘PM research fellows’ need not be restricted to only elite public-funded institutions — one needs to create an entire ecosystem of excellence in the country, and not just a few islands of merit.

— Dr Rupamanjari Ghosh, VC, Shiv Nadar University

Technology-enabled edu is complementary

With a strong focus on quality education and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Internet of Things, online learning platforms will gain importance as the providers of standardised, world class content. The reinforced Digital India initiative will promote online learning for eliminating the evident skills gap in the country and help enhance employability of the students at large. Budget 2018 also recognises the importance of quality education with the launch of the new portal Diksha to upgrade the skills of teachers. Higher education is also set to get a boost with the initiatives driven towards medical colleges and IITs.

We wholeheartedly welcome the Government's new mission to shift from blackboards to digital boards across schools by 2022. We firmly believe that technology-enabled education is a complementary means of learning and thus it is great to see the increased focus on Digital India.

— Raghav Gupta, India Country Director, Coursera

Strengthen the quality education

The 2018 Union Budget has laid stress on learning outcome. Any educational system should rest on three pillars —Access, Equity and Quality. While India has been able to successfully address the first two with much success over the past several decades, the third pillar of Quality demands attention. In regards to improving learning outcomes, the budget has touched upon two key areas— improvement in quality of teachers and using technology as a key driver in improving the quality of education. It will be further enhanced if a risk-reward system is also introduced providing the teachers’ incentive to improve student performance.

I hope the initiative of an integrated BEd programme, training of teachers during their service, will yield corresponding benefits. It’ll be valuable if focus is given on skill development at the school level. To prevent staggering dropout rate at the Secondary level, we can introduce vocational studies at the higher secondary level like Japan, Germany and other countries.

— Col Gopal Karunakaran, CEO, Shiv Nadar School



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