Education Budget 2017: 10 Key Highlights
NEW DELHI: The Union Budget 2017 was presented today by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The Budget cut out for the education sector has quite a few interesting and positive changes and steps towards enhancement of the quality of education in the rural regions of India and employment opportunities for the youth.
One national testing agency for major entrance exams to introduction of no less than 350 online courses to employment opportunities for the youth in the travel and textile sectors are only some of the key highlights of this year's education budget.
A major hike of Rs. 6000 crore was allocated towards the education budget for 2017-18. Last year, Rs. 64,000 crore was allocated towards education and for this financial year, the education budget stands at Rs. 70,000 crore. 4.5% of the nation's GDP will be contributed towards education now.
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Here are 10 major highlights of Budget 2017 for the education sector.
- 2 new All India Institutes of Medical Science (AIIMS) will be introduced in the states of Jharkhand and Gujarat.
- New and better steps will be taken in order to increase the postgraduate seats for medical sciences in India.
- A system to measure learning in schools is proposed this year and more focus will be given to education in Science and a flexible curriculum as well.
- The emphasis will be given to the 3,479 educationally backward blocks for which an Innovative Fund for Secondary Education will be introduced. This initiative is said to encourage local innovation and ensure quality improvement along with universal access and gender parity.
- There are certain UGC reforms in place as well. Depending on the accreditation and ranking of the college, they will be granted the autonomous status.
- The Government will launch no less than 350 online courses with the launch of SWAYAM. A good faculty, varied reading resources, discussion forums, exams and tests, and getting grades and a certificate will be part of SWAYAM. DTH channels that are solely involved with education can widen the access to the portal.
- A National Testing Agency to be established that will take charge of all entrance exams for higher education institutes. The CBSE and AICTE will be relieved of their current administrative responsibilities and their focus will shift to improving academics.
- The Government of India has proposed to extend the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras to over 600 districts across India. They are already present in 60 districts across the country. Close to 100 India International Skills Centres will be established through which Advanced Training and Foreign Language courses will be promoted. This will open up opportunities for the youth to seek jobs outside India as well.
- Rs 2,200 crore will be invested in the next phase of the Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) for to improve the quality of vocational training that is provided in ITTs.
- A special scheme has been introduced to create and increase employment in the textile industry. A similar scheme is said to be introduced in the footwear and leather industries.
A special mention about Bharat Net. Rs. 10000 crore will be allocated to the Bharat Net project for 2017-18. High speed broadband internet will be made available to 1.5 lakh gram panchayats across India. A ‘Digi Gaon’ initiative is said to be launched that will provide telemedicine, education and skills through digital technology.