Post-Budget review

Post-Budget review

The focus area of education in this year’s budget is oriented towards improving the quality of education, infrastructure development and learning outcome of students, says Dr TP Sethumadhavan

The Central budget 2018-19 envisages 15 per cent growth in services sector. 2017-18 economic review suggests that growth in services sector increased from 7.7 to 8.3 per cent whereas growth in Agriculture and industrial sectors reduced from 4.9 to 2.1 and 5.6 to 4.4 per cent respectively. Growth in production sector has also reduced from 7.9 to 4.6. Manufacturing sector has shown a marginal increase from 1.7 to 3.6 percent and substantial increase in export of around 12.1 per cent were noticed during the year.

The focus area of education in the 2018-19 budget is oriented towards improving the quality of education, infrastructure development and learning outcome of students. It has been proposed to start centre of eminence in higher education and to establish higher education funding agency to promote higher education. Prime minister research fund announced in the budget will facilitate 1000 BTech graduates from NITs and IITs to get fellowships to acquire PhD and employment. 50 lakh youths will be given training by 2020 as part of skill development. In the budget speech, finance minister suggested that the country is planning to spend Rs 1 trillion to revitalise the infrastructure of higher educational institutions and unveiled a new scheme called Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE). The RISE scheme will be financed via a restructured higher education financing agency (HEFA) which envisages lending low-cost funds to Government higher educational institutions.

Agriculture, food processing, social security, MSME, Entrepreneurship, start-ups, health services, medical education, digitalisation, advanced IT, Tourism, leather industry, apparel production, fintech and rural development are some of the sectors which received major allocation in the budget. This, in turn, will facilitate opportunities in the above sectors and will reflect in respective areas in education and career sector. This will pave way for growth in tourism, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cyber security, blockchain technology, e commerce, food processing, nutrition and dietetics, food processing, leather technology, robotics, footwear technology and agribusiness courses. UG courses related to the above sectors will create umpteen employment opportunities. Skill development programmes will try to reduce the skill gap between available and required skills.

It is a fact that government’s flagship programmes like Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, Start up India- Stand up India can’t provide envisaged employment opportunities. Reduction in growth in industrial sectors, in turn, affected the growth flow towards manufacturing sector which can generate 30 per cent employment opportunities. It has been envisaged that during 2017-18 growth in manufacturing and infrastructure will be around 15 per cent which can facilitate to provide more employment opportunities. Unfortunately, the sector can’t provide substantial results. In China growth in this sector is more than 45 per cent.

The writer is director, UL Education and founder of www.nextedu.in



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