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Welcome Move On Education

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Dhiraj Mathur, Leader Education, PwC India
Increased allocations for RTE -- SSA and for RMSA reiterate the government’s commitment towards strengthening school education. In addition, in a country where nearly 64 per cent of the population will be of working age by 2021, the government’s proposal of setting Rs 1000 crore apart for motivating nearly 10 million youth to voluntarily join skill development programmes and releasing funds from other schemes for skill development activities is a welcome move.

Ranu Kawatra, President and CEO, Pearson Education India
The Union Budget 2013-14 has introduced some promising initiatives for the Education sector. The government has offered measures that have the potential to provide significant investment boost to the sector. Hon’ble Finance Minister P Chidambaram has allocated Rs 65,867 crore to the HRD ministry, an increase of 17 per cent from last year. This will indeed provide an impetus and boost to the sector with additional facilities and initiatives that will be taken by the Ministry.

Another key aspect addressed in the budget is the target of skilling 50 million people in the 12th Plan period, which includes 9 million in 2013-14. India as a country has faced severe skill-gap and a solution in the form of Rs 1000 crore being allocated for skill development has been proposed. Equipping the youth with the required skills will help them secure better jobs,which in turn will help in the socio economic advancement of the country. Lastly, exemption of service tax for state-affiliated institutes offering vocational courses will also be beneficial to the Indian youth.

Siddharth Chaturvedi, Director, AISECT
It is heartening to see that the focus on the education sector as a whole continues into the next financial year as well. The allocation of Rs. 65,867 crore to the MHRD, which is an increase of 17 per cent as compared to last year, is an optimistic sign for the education sector and shows Government’s long term commitment to improving access for education to a larger section of society. Specifically, with SSA Allocation of Rs 27,258 crore and RMSA allocation of 3983 crore (25 per cent increase YOY), both elementary education as well as middle school education segments are poised to benefit from the budget.

Skill development and vocational training as important instruments of growth for the Indian economy were again reaffirmed by the Budget 2013. Allocation of Rs 1000 crore for taking further the mission of skilling 50 million youth by 2022 is welcome. Specifically, there is a focus on bringing quality improvement and standard procedures for certifications and assessments in the FM’s Budget speech, which is definitely a positive sign for the vocational training and skill development sector. We look forward to continued focus on skill development from the government's side in future as well and an even bigger allocation next year, as the scale of this challenge is humongous.

Prashant Bhalla, Senior Vice President, Manav Rachna International University
Keeping the current fiscal deficit scenario in mind, the budget this year appears to be a move towards a focused economic growth, provided the elements are well implemented. It is good to see that education has retained its importance where the government plans to continue taking initiatives for education as well as imparting skills to the youth.

Given the challenges we have, rise in expenditures at all levels is obvious but one should not divert from our focus and continue our efforts. Rise in allocations for HRD, SSA, RMSA seems to be a move that will bring benefits to the countrymen. Having said that, monitoring also needs equal attention to overcome obstacles and thereafter succeed in our missions
It is a delight to see that government has taken initiatives for women like announcing Nirbhaya fund, taking steps for women upliftment which is equally a pulsating concern today and is important for achieving an inclusive growth.

Sanjiv Kataria Communications Counsel for the Education Sector 
The Finance Minister has seized the opportunities for youth by focusing on Human Infrastructure development—a meta resource for growing India.  

Allocation of $12 billion in 2013-14 on education, representing one-sixth increase over last year, will unlock the potential of young to contribute to India’s growth for 2020 and beyond.

Government’s emphasis on Right to Education, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid-day meals, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Skill Development will go a long way in enhancing literacy, growing school enrolments and building marketable skills.

By funding skill building of youth, firms set up in association with National Skills Development Council have a key role cut out for themselves in offering skills that get them jobs and building their confidence to live as equals.

Direct transfer of scholarships to girls, including those from SC, ST, will encourage parents to educate them just as they invest in boys.