Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stressed the need to strengthen the country’s higher education system so as to attract foreign students to India.
At Rs 94,854 crore, the allocation for the education sector in the Budget is Rs 1,000 crore more than what was provided for in the interim Budget.
Compared to the Revised Estimates (RE) for 2018-19, which spent Rs 83,626 crore on education, education has been given Rs 11,000 crore more in this Budget.
Of the Rs 94,854 crore in the Budget, Rs 38,317 crore will be given to the Department of Higher Education, while Rs 400 crore has been set aside to create “world-class institutions”.
The government plans to set up a Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) during the year and proposed legislation for the same. The HECI would be a regulator for the higher education sector, replacing the University Grants Commission. This was first announced in June 2018.
The Budget also proposed to bring in all research projects under one institution, the National Research Foundation (NRF). At present, many ministries fund research activities in their designated areas.
To provide quality sports education, Sitharaman proposed creating a National Sports Education Board, under the Khelo India scheme.
In Budget this year, support to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) is the highest in the last three fiscal years, at Rs 1,671 crore. IITs got Rs 600 crore last year, while the second-highest allocation was in the fiscal year 2017-18, at Rs 1,299 crore.
The Budget provided Rs 56,536 crore for the Department of School Education and Literacy.