Budget 2019 : Education

Union Budget 2019 has made a significant investment in the field of education.

Salient Features

The Union Budget has a 12.8 % year-on-year (YoY) increase in the FY20 allocation for school education.

An amount of Rs 56,536.63 crore has been allocated for school education in Budget 2019.

On the higher education front, the allocation has increased by 14.3%.

The amount allocated for higher education is Rs 38,317.01 crore.

School education

  • The National Education Mission (NEM) has seen an increase of 18.2 % in allocation to Rs 36,447.4 crore.
  • The National Education Mission, also referred to as Samagra Shiksha, comprises of schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (elementary education), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (secondary education) and teachers training, adult education.
  • There has also been a 10.5 % increase in allocation for the mid-day meal schemes that provide free and nutritious meals to underprivileged students in government schools to Rs 11,000 crore.

Higher education

  • A 326.3 % YoY increase has been provided in the allocation for the improvement in salary scale of university and college teachers.
  • Higher educational institutes like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have also got a 12.2 percent hike and a 20 percent hike in funding.
  • The government aims to bring in a new National Education Policy(NEP) to transform India s higher education system to one of the best in the world.
  • The NEP proposes significant changes in both the school and higher education, improves governance systems and puts the spotlight on research and innovation.
  • The allocation for research and innovation has been further increased to Rs 608.87 crore.
  • To fund, coordinate and promote research in the country, the Central Government aims to establish the National Research Foundation (NRF) in the country. It will assimilate the research grants being given by various ministries independent of each other.

What does the budget show?

One thing in the union budget which has attracted a lot of attention is the focus on research. Its unequivocal focus on the importance of research with the proposal to set up a National Research Foundation (NRF) to coordinate and promote research in the country has been lauded by the countries’ leading educationists. The government is finally taking notice of industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT, Big Data and reforms in the higher education sector.

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