Nirmala Sitharaman announced that Indian schools will be made future-ready with a deeper focus on research and new age skills such as robotics and AI
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech today, unveiled a new education policy which would bring reform in the education industry in India.
In her budget speech, she proposed a range of major changes for India's education system and talked about how India has the potential to become an educational hub.
Sitharaman announced that Indian schools will be made future-ready with a deeper focus on research and new age skills such as robotics and AI. The Finance minister also allocated Rs 400 cr for world-class higher education institutions under the 'Study in India initiative’.
Divya Jain, Co-Founder & CEO, Safeducate, said, "We have a strong government at the centre which has the ability to drive positive reforms on the ground with considerable ease, something which it has also ably done in the past. The Government's vision of Digital India and Startup India is incomplete without abled entrepreneurs who have both visions as well as skills to execute that vision. Finance Minister's move to have 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in India paves the way for this and will promote the development of cutting-edge and indigenous technological solutions, create high-tech jobs in India, up skill Indian professionals, and enable us to tap the ripening global market."
Opportunity for Research Institutions
In the budget presentation, the finance minister also announced the creation of the National Research Foundation to fund, coordinate and promote research. The foundation will look to develop extensive research infrastructure and eco-system in the country which would be in sync with the national priorities towards basic science without duplication of efforts and expenditure.
Srini Raghavan, Founder and CEO, Educational Initiatives, said, “Two significant initiatives, National Education Policy and the Union Budget, coinciding this year is a huge opportunity for the education sector. As a research-driven EdTech company, we welcome the government’s proposal of setting up the 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. Unless we fix core issues in learning levels of school children - such as building foundational skills, tracking impact, board exam revamps, teacher training, etc. - initiatives at the higher education level will not yield desired results.”
Focussing on New-age skills to increase employability
The budget states that the government is inclined on imparting new-age skills in areas like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, 3D printing, big data, virtual reality, and robotics to prepare the youth for a better employment opportunity.
Presenting the Budget, Sitharaman also highlighted that the government enables about 10 million youths to take up industry relevant skill training through the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, helping create a large pool of skilled manpower.
Amol Arora, MD - Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools, said, “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. And it was great to see the government finally taking notice of industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT, Big Data and reforms in the higher education sector. A humble yet notable announcement was the ‘Study in India’ Programme, which holds the potential to put India on the world map. However, we still need a series of fundamental structural reforms - which I hope will be addressed in the near future."
Khelo India scheme
Sitharaman, in her budget presentation, also mentioned setting up of National Sports Education Board for development of sportspersons under Khelo India Scheme. This scheme will look after the professional development of Sportspersons in the country.
Beas Dev Ralhan, Co-founder and CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd, said, “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. The government has also proposed to increase efforts in skills development of our youth by incorporating new technologies in education such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and new learning strategies such as virtual realities and robotics. Furthermore, in an admirable move, the National Sports Education Board for the development of skilled sportsmen is to be set up under “Khelo India” project, so as to promote enthusiasm in sports as an important part of the development of today’s learners.”