Introduction of legislation for the Higher Education Commission of India, setting up 100 new Sainik schools, and partnership with UAE and Japan in area of skill development and recognition, were among major announcements made for the education sector in the Union Budget 2021 by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced that the budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Education has been reduced by 6.13 per cent, and a total of Rs 93,224 crore will be allocated to the ministry concerned.
Here are the key takeaways for the education sector in the Union Budget 2021:
More than 15,000 schools will be 'qualitatively strengthened' under the National Education Policy (NEP). 100 new Sainik Schools will be set up in partnership with NGOs, private schools, and states.
"More than 15,000 schools to include all components of the National Education Policy will be qualitatively strengthened; to enable them to emerge as exemplar schools in their regions, handhold and mentor other schools to achieve the ideals Policy," Sitharaman said while presenting the Union Budget in the Parliament.
In Budget 2019-20, the finance minister mentioned the setting up of the Higher Education Commission of India. The Centre would introduce the legislation this year to implement the setting-up of the Commission. The legislation will be an umbrella body having four separate vehicles for standard-setting, accreditation, regulation, and funding.
The central government proposes to set up 750 Eklavya model residential schools in tribal areas of the country, the Centre also proposes to increase the unit cost of each such school from Rs 20 crore to Rs 38 crore, and for hilly and difficult areas, to Rs 48 crore. This would help in creating robust infrastructure facilities for tribal students, according to the finance minister.
The government has revamped the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for the welfare of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and also enhanced the Central Assistance in this regard. "A total of Rs 35,219 crore will be allocated for six years till 2025-2026 to benefit four crore SC students", FM Sitharaman said in her Budget 2021 speech today.
Under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, the government proposes to amend the Apprenticeship Act to further enhance the apprenticeship opportunities for the youth. The central government will realign the existing scheme of National Apprenticeship Training Scheme (NATS) for providing post-education apprenticeship, training of graduates and diploma holders in Engineering. More than Rs 3,000 crore will be provided for in this regard.
An initiative is underway, in partnership with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to benchmark skill qualifications, assessment, and certification, accompanied by the deployment of certified workforce. The Centre also have a collaborative Training Inter Training Programme (TITP) with Japan to facilitate the transfer of Japanese industrial and vocational skills, technique, and knowledge.