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Union Budget 2018: Experts Voice Their Opinion On Budget Expectations And Reforms Needed

Experts from the education sector share their views on their expectations from the budget and reforms needed in the sector.

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Experts from the education sector share their views on their expectations from the budget and reforms needed in the sector.  

Ali Asgar Kagzi, Co-founder at Genext Students

Education is the foundation for the development of any country. India has seen a huge surge in ed-tech startups which are trying to contribute towards better quality & reach of education across India. For this ecosystem to get a boost, reducing the tax burdens, especially the GST on education services & teachers will be very helpful. For ed-tech startups to thrive, reduction in angel tax to promote more angel investing will also boost this sector, as education is a long-term association. The government should also consider some perks for Tutor training as there is a huge shortage of tutors and tutors are ones who make any education scheme successful.

Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO & Co-founder, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd. 

2018 looks like a promising year for the education sector with the first draft of the much-anticipated New Education Policy (NEP) slated to release in March 2018. With the advent of the new financial year and the Union budget just around the corner, let us check out the various expectations of the education sector.

There have been many skill development initiatives from the government. However, all of these initiatives have been directed towards graduate and post-graduate students and not budding learners. The 2018 budget will hopefully give attention to programs on early-age skill development, which can develop computing, numerical and communication skills in students from a tender age. There is also a need to earmark a substantial cut for teacher-training programs. Moreover, it must be kept in mind that only when teachers are remunerated fairly will they be motivated enough to fulfill their duties diligently.

In the last budget, the Finance Minister had promised to improve science education in school. To fulfill such a promise further, the government should take proper measures to utilise the existing technologies and infrastructure available in schools. In fact, this expectation is aligned to the recent promise made by the finance minister that this budget would focus on infrastructural development.

Dr. Barnali Chaklader, Prof.Finance, IMI-New Delhi

The government could provide for loans at a concessional rate to girl students who aspire for higher education. The loan should be for education and other infrastructural support such as computers, books, travel expenses, decent meals etc. that the girls would need to upscale their skills. The rate of loans could be lower for students belonging to lower economic income. The focus on technology-enabled education should be given higher priority in the rural sector. A major amount of fund should be set aside for the creation of better infrastructure in education and filling up the vacancies of faculty in schools and universities any day is a top priority. Emphasis should be given to skill development with this Union budget which will enable students to create better job opportunities for themselves.

Zishaan Hayath, CEO & Co-founder, Toppr.com

To build a strong future and a new generation of leaders, the share of education budget should increase considerably in the coming years. To solve the problem of skewed student-teacher ratio, government should encourage technology enablement in schools. This could be done by allocating significant portion of the education budget to development and integration of ed-tech in traditional education. Also, current GST slab of 18 percent on ed-tech products/services should go down as it could be prohibitive for a lot of end consumers.