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Long-Term Education Policies To Bridge India’s Skill Deficit
Government schemes like Mid-Day Meal scheme (i.e. PM Poshan) encourages retention of students in schools.
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The Union Budget 2022 bolsters India's vision of becoming the fastest-growing economy, with the country's economic growth rate estimated to be 9.2 per cent in the upcoming financial year. Steps taken towards Infrastructure Development in India, along with relief for MSMEs should help India get back on the path of high growth.
The Government's focus on improving the quality of education at the primary education level in rural India is commendable. On education, the Finance Minister has aptly recognized the problem with India's K-12 education. Expanding the digital education schemes like PM e-Vidhya will positively impact primary and secondary education systems in tier 2, 3 and rural India.
Bridging the digital divide during the COVID era has been a big challenge for India’s education system. The launch of the Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling & reskilling of the Indian youth portrays the Government’s razor-sharp focus on outcome-driven education to elevate the workforce capabilities beyond college degrees. The FM’s strategic approach to addressing the employment crisis in India is praiseworthy. Now the next big step is the scale of its implementation. The biggest ask from the education industry this year was an increase in the overall allocation and the government has delivered with an 11.86% increase. However, this might not be sufficient to achieve a greater impact considering the current industry scenario.
In fact, the allocation under the digital India e-learning program which includes the PM e-Vidhya scheme is decreased, while the overall mandate has increased. There are also cuts in schemes that encourage retention of students in schools, like the Mid-Day Meal scheme (i.e. PM Poshan). While the thrust to digital learning is welcomed, some of the issues to address the problem of school dropouts need more grants.
The increased impetus in higher education, centrally and at the state level should be the immediate priority. India will soon witness an astounding increase in skill-based jobs because of expected infrastructure developments. Hence, greater allocation to strengthen higher education could have accelerated India’s ambitions of becoming a global powerhouse on the back of a skilled population.
Overall, I am optimistic this budget will bring massive wins in creating a future-forward India in the digital age.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.