Education is one of the most important parts of Gov. social sector spending in any Middle-Income country like India. Education, not only enhances the employability of individuals but also helps them to break the vicious cycle of poverty and social marginalization. National Education Policy(NEP),2020 was a major policy shift of Gov. to cater to the needs of the education sector of 21st-century India.
Union Budget 2023-24 comes at a time when recovery from Covid-19 is almost completed and the immense importance of technology was realized in the education sector. In Union Budget 2023-24 Centre has provisioned for Rs.1,12,899.47 cr for the fiscal year 2023-24 as compared to Rs.1,04,277.72 cr in the year 2022-23 (8.3% increase y-o-y). Gov said it is the highest-ever allocation to the Education sector which will Transform India into a Knowledge-based economy.
SCHOOL EDUCATION & LITERACY DEPARTMENT
- PM POSHAN or Mid day meal scheme allocation has hiked by 13.3% which will give a push to GER(Gross Enrollment Ratio).
- The Budget of the School Education department gets a hike of 16.5% to achieve the aspirations mentioned in NEP 2020.
- Three Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence has to be set up.
- A National Digital Library for children and adolescents will be set-up to cope up with difficulties faced by children during the time of the pandemic.
- National Book Trust, Children’s Book Trust, and other sources will be encouraged to provide and replenish non-curricular titles in regional languages and English to the physical libraries.
- Teachers’ training will be re-imagined through innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, continuous professional development, dipstick surveys, and ICT implementation.
- STARS has increased by Rs. 250.00 cr a hike of 45.45% as compared to 2022-23.STARS provides an assessment of school learning assessment systems, strengthens classroom instruction and remediation, facilitates school-to-work transition, and strengthens governance and decentralized management.STARS Scheme is aided by the World bank.
- States will be encouraged to build physical libraries at panchayat and ward levels.
HIGHER EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
- Scheme of PM SHRI has increased by Rs. 2200.00 cr.
- 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services will be set up in HEIs., to realize the new range of opportunities, business models, and employment potential.
- Prime Minister Research Fellowship (PMRF) an amount of Rs. 400 Crores has been allocated as compared to Rs 200 Crores in BE 2022-23 i.e. 100% increase.
- In Budget Estimate 2023-24 Grant or UGC has been hiked by 9.37% i.e. an increase of 459 crores.
- A research and development grant for indigenous production of Lab Grown Diamond (LGD) seeds and machines will be given to one of the IITs for 5 years as proposed by FM.
- Fund Allocation for FY 2023-24 inSamagra Shiksha Scheme introduced in 2018 has increased by Rs. 70.11 cr.
|Total Allocation||School Education & Literacy||Higher Education|
|Rs.1,12,899.47 cr||Rs.68,804.85 cr||Rs.44,904.62 cr|
Areas Missed by Budget
- The official declaration by the Ministry of Education in NEP 2020, Suggests Public investment in the education sector should be 6% of GDP but it has merely around 2.8-2.9% of GDP from FY16.
- No separate funds are allocated for the Library project in the Budget.
- FM didn’t specify whether Gov. plans to extend the Plan to extend the National Digital Library Scheme(2018) for Children and adolescents.
Union Budget 2023-24 gives an outline to achieve both NEP 2020 objectives and SDGs Goal 4 of Quality Education. Proper implementation and minimizing loopholes will prepare India to become a knowledge-based economy in AMRIT KAAL(2022-2047).
Budget 2023-24 (Education sector) - Click Here