Union Budget 2019: How Education Sector Responded

NDTV

July 6, 2019

The Union Budget 2019 presented today has the capability to revitalize the education sector, commented experts from Indian academic and edu-tech communities. Though the proposals saw mixed responses from the education sector, an expert said the decision to treat education holistically is a welcome move and will lend greater synergy in planning and execution of important schemes and programmes. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman has highlighted measures including a new National Education Policy, National Research Foundation and Study in India in her Budget speech.

Rajib Ray, DUTA

“Largely, when it comes to education sector, especially the higher education, the proposals presented today are uninspirational and pathetic. Government, with this Budget, implements National Education Policy recommendations even before feedback collection is complete and without debating the Policy in the Parliament. National Research Foundation, which was mentioned in the Draft policy, has now been proposed to be implemented and the body will fund, coordinate and promote research-related activities in the country”.

Fr. P. Christie, S.J., Director, XLRI- Xavier School of Management

“The Government’s initiative in bringing in the New National Education Policy in the near future is a welcome step. There is need for Better Governance framework within the education sector and the government’s announcements like bringing reforms in the Higher Education Regulatory Arms to promote greater autonomy and focus on better academic outcomes and the allotment of Rs.400-crore for “World Class Institutions” are steps in the right direction to build a robust education system; and we look forward to the legislation to set up Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). However, this right intent of the government can truly be attained if we also have long-term strategy and organisational structure in place.

Prateek Bhargava, CEO, Mindler

“Though it is commendable that the Government had a vision to place more Indian institutes in the ranking of top 200 world university rankings, but it should have allocated funds to upgrade the technology in the education sector. Expectations were high, and we were expecting some major announcements,  in line with other critical sectors like agriculture, water management, MSME sectors which were the focus of today’s budget. It seemed that the education sector was again kept on the back burner.

Srini Raghavan, Founder and CEO, EI

“Two significant initiatives, National Education Policy and the Union Budget, coinciding this year is a huge opportunity for the education sector. We welcome the government’s proposal of setting up National Research Foundation to improve the quality of research across all levels of private and public educational institutes. I believe it can be a game changer. However, there is a need for a higher focus on K 12 education”.

Gaurav Srivastava, Regional Director, South Asia, GMAC

“We are pleased to hear that the government is keen to make India an international hub for education. We have been running a ‘Study in India’ campaign for the last two years in partnership with some of India’s leading business schools to help them with their recruitment efforts in getting international candidates in the classroom who bring with them diversity and a rich perspective of what is happening in other economies”.

Zishaan Hayath, CEO & Founder, Toppr

“We expected a larger focus on education for school-going children. Today, India has almost 250 million children in that age group but very few have access to quality education since it is limited to certain pockets of India. Improving and upgrading our higher education institutes is also required, but at the same time, we need to ensure that our children have access to well-trained teachers, infrastructure, and resources from the very beginning”.

Shweta Sastri, Managing Director, Canadian International School, Bengaluru

The government proposed a range of major changes for India’s education system in the budget and laid emphasis on the importance of not only providing literacy but improving the quality of education. The decision to set up a National Research Foundation to fund and coordinate research in India is welcome. The allotment of 400-cr to develop world class institutions is to be highly appreciated. This is a balanced budget as far as education sector is concerned.

Amol Arora, MD – Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools

“This budget is guided by the mission to strengthen the Education Sector especially the establishment of the ‘National Research Foundation’-which will definitely help in creating the right ecosystem for R&D in the country. However, we still need a series of fundamental structural reforms – which I hope will be addressed in the near future”.

Beas DevRalhan, Co-founder and CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.

“The Union Budget 2019 has proposed significant changes which have the capability to revitalise the education sector. Apart from focusing on improving research and higher education via the National Research Foundation, it has promoted play-based early childhood education and high-quality teacher training via the new National Education Policy”.

Pankaj Muthe, Program Manager, Academic Program, APAC, Qlik

The focus on the amplification of skills in new-age tech domains such as AI, IoT, Big Data, and Robotics will also help to address the severe skills shortage that businesses across India are facing at present, apart from opening newer avenues of career growth for Indian professionals. The government should also make stronger efforts to incorporate data literacy training at the grassroots level and incentivise organisations to launch data literacy training initiatives for their employees. Doing so will equip current and future Indian professionals with the required knowledge and competencies to navigate the data-driven world of tomorrow.”

Vamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-Founder, Vedantu

“Digitization has given a major boost to the robust education system in India – the second largest market for e-learning after the US. Therefore, a National Education Policy to bring India’s higher education system on par with global standards will be a big leap towards bolstering the e-learning market. Further, the proposition to launch ‘Study in India’ that will position India as a prime destination for higher education amongst students aboard, will open doors and present opportunities for educators and e-learning sector as a whole.”

Vineet Chaturvedi, Co-Founder, Edureka

“This union budget has given due importance to skilling and education which is a welcome move in today’s skill-driven industry. The expansion of Skill India to include AI, IoT and other futuristic technologies hits the nail on the head and the establishment of National Research Foundation is a major boost towards building India’s technical competence.

Dr. Yajulu Medury, Director, Mahindra Ecole Centrale

“The commitment to bringing in the new education policy and make sweeping changes in how education is imparted with the focus on learning outcomes will play a big role in bettering the education level. The focus on research and innovation and the setting up of a National Research Foundation with access to research funds from all Government schemes will help fund and promote research in the country”.

Udacity – Mr Ishan Gupta (MD Udacity India)

The government’s focus on encouraging skill development and training in various tech-centric areas including Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, etc. is an extremely welcome step. The field of AI and affiliated technologies is highly valued across the globe. The proposed measures will ensure that the next generation of students is job-ready for the high-value jobs that are rapidly emerging both in India and abroad.

Niru Agarwal, Trustee, Greenwood High International School

“The higher funding would enhance the quality of education in government schools and will help children in their learning endeavour. But a more fundamental announcement has been the National Education Policy that tries to align India’s institutions with global institutions. The proposal to set up a National Research Foundation will also encourage and improve the standards of research in the country”.