Education Budget 2017-18 Analysis

Feb 03, 2017 | Posted by admin in Faculty Talk   No Comments »

Education Budget 2017-18 Analysis: Key Players feel the budget is progressive but does not meet standards

Reactions of Key Players of Education Sector towards the Union Budget

2017-18 in regards to Education Budget.

The Union Budget 2017 is out. And as the country sifts through the fine print of the Union Budget, we reached out to eminent academicians and leaders in the Education Sector to seek their response to the budget. The overall verdict is out. It is a “Progressive Budget”. The talking points are many. For the education sector, there were some positives and then there are some long term plans. The leaders in the Education Sector believe the same. shares the views of key players in the education sector. The general verdict says that the budget is progressive but does not meet the standards.

Before we go on to propound on who said what, a quick summary of the Union Budget 2017-18 vis a vis the education sector is important. Effectively, not many changes have been made. The focus and intent were specified and there is a push towards building job opportunities and providing vocational training by means of Digital Education. A slew of reforms by means of the overhaul of UGC were also suggested. Here are the Key Highlights of the Education Budget 2017-18.

Mr Akshay Munjal, President BML Munjal University welcomed the budget and was overall happy with the reforms made and suggested. He says, “ This year’s budget sees welcome initiatives that will bolster the education industry in India. We welcome the efforts towards providing quality education in STEM across primary and secondary schools in India.” When asked about the Swayam platform inititiative, he said that the step would help in the “upliftment of 3,479 educationally backward blocks.” He also said that “the setting up of the National Testing Agency and 100 skill centres across India will make quality education accessible and available to the masses and will help empower a generation of future leaders. This will lead to an overall improvement of educational facilities throughout the country, particularly in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.” Overall, however, he says that the Education Budget 2017-18 fell short. “Though these are significant steps in the right direction, we would have also welcomed further constructive investment towards R&D infrastructure,” he concluded.

Similar views were shared by Mr. Rishi Kapal, Global Strategist and CEO, EduGild.  He was excited about the improvements in the labour sector and optimistic about reforms giving impetus to the growth. On the other hand, however, he was disappointed in the quantum of outlay and specific implemental strategies. We quote,

“The focus of the budget in supporting initiatives to make job ready youth is welcomed. We expect a labor market information system to be created where industry job needs can be forecasted with accuracy. It was expected that the budget would give subsidy and more autonomy to universities adopting cutting edge tech like the rest of the world. However, the announcement is silent on how India will be made a world class education destination with campuses adopting AR/VR/NLP/AI solutions and services. The initiative to open 350 online courses can be of a huge impact if the post program assessment is solid and transparent. Digitization of proctoring with help of government budgets will make the move realistic. However, the budget is silent on sector based support to startups. For the Edtech sector, we anticipated announcement where the government would open international centre’s to give global access to Indian edtech companies. While the centre’s are being budgeted for giving Indian youths access to global jobs, the social – political environment overseas is not in our control. However, creating great Edtech companies from India to the world would have been very much possible with government budget and support. Overall the budget is constructive but initiatives have to go a long way before Indian edtech and education system deems to be globally competitive. The demographic outlay is in our favor, we need to leverage it now”.

Mr. Pankaj Raina, COO, BetterU only had positives for the budget. Excerpt, “The Finance minister’s opening remarks on the need for quality education to encourage the youth garners praise. We welcome the steps taken by the government to promote digital learning as part of the Union Budget 2017-18. The focus on educational reforms by introducing better measurement system of the outcomes, skill development to push job creation and provide vocational training for livelihood programme are all bold moves in the right direction. The Government’s endeavor to introduce 350 virtual courses on the SWAYAM platform will spur learning opportunities for the youth. In line with skill development, we also appreciate the initiation of the SANKALP program which will give a strategic boost by training over 1 crore youth. We strongly believe these measures will further uplift India’s education sector.”

Talking further about the quality education and providing impetus to Skill India, Prof Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool said, “The Budget has rightly addressed issues pertaining to Skilling India and meeting global standards in the quality of education being imparted. Focusing on revamping the education system is a positive move that has been the demand from the industry for a long time. Implementing National Testing Agency for conducting all entrance exams will bring in transparency and increase the efficacy, relieve the other institutions of the administrative duties and shift their focus back on the core subject of academics. With the aim of bringing world-class education, institutions need to have more assertive command in the form of autonomy which the Government has rightly addressed by stating that good quality and top ranking institutes will be provided further autonomy. A positive sign is the approach of bottom-up, which is innovation and science being given importance from the secondary education level itself, this will surely help build design thinkers and creative workforce of the future. Another step of digitizing education is the Swayam platform that will make  best faculty; high quality reading resources, participate in discussion forums and earn academic grades accessible for students.”

He went on to suggest that, “A major reform will be witnessed owing to the development of measurement systems of annual learning from school, as it will bring about accountability from the Government and also, help in measuring the efficacy of the measures being implemented. We welcome the budget presented by the Finance Minister which has set in motion to bring about a paradigm shift in education system of our country.”


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