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Budget wishlist: Education leaders bat for 1-yr compulsory internship; want experiential learning that will boost mental health, self-confidence

Industry experts are also optimistic about a hike in funds for higher education.

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Last Updated: Jan 29, 2020, 01.26 PM IST
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The top priorities remain experiential learning, skill training integrated in school, mainstream university for vocational education and a robust, new National Education Policy.
The top priorities remain experiential learning, skill training integrated in school, mainstream university for vocational education and a robust, new National Education Policy.
NEW DELHI: Last week, a study by the Tata Trust and Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability revealed that progress across major development schemes in India, including education, health and nutrition among others, remains constrained due to sub-optimal utilisation of available funds, especially at the district level.

As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gets ready for the Union Budget, experts from the industry have several suggestions that can boost the educational ecosystem in the country.

The top priorities remain experiential learning, skill training integrated in school, mainstream university for vocational education and a robust, new National Education Policy.

Professor Pankaj Chandra, Vice Chancellor of Ahmedabad University
“For India to progress towards achieving higher quality employment, the Government should invest more in the education sector this year. The Draft Education Policy, which suggests increasing the spending on education to about 6 per cent of GDP, should be a good target for this year’s budget.

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Pankaj Chandra
Professor Pankaj Chandra feels it is imperative to provide very low interest rates on education loans to support higher levels of enrollment.

"It is also imperative to provide very low interest rates on education loans to support higher levels of enrollment. The Government needs to double the investment in Research and Development in the country, which is currently only 0.7 per cent of the overall GDP, and also encourage the private sector to invest more in R&D by providing translational incentives.

"Additionally, to encourage corporates to invest in training of its people which is crucial because of the changing work landscape, the Government should provide for tax credits for investments made in deep training of employees.”

“The manufacturing industry is expecting the Government to rectify the inverted tariff structure for manufactured products. Tuning up cluster-based incentives for electronic companies will bring in more investment into the country, and more importantly, complete the ecosystem for electronics manufacturing in India.”

Dharinini Upadhyaya, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Furtados School of Music
"This is the start of a new decade. We look forward to creating an educational ecosystem in our country that fosters experiential learning so that students can build their skills and capabilities for their future. In the era of automation, we need an educational system with creative subjects which will act as a pressure valve to help teenagers deal with stress, boosting self confidence and collaboration skills.

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Dharini Upadhyaya
Dharini Upadhyaya is confident that experiential learning will help students build their skills and capabilities for the future.

"During the 2019 Budget, FM had suggested increasing the total government expenditure for education to 20 per cent from 10 per cent by 2030. This is yet to find funding in India’s current education Budget, and we’re hoping it will be addressed this year. Initiatives like sound music education ecosystem can strengthen the educational infrastructure in the country, and the Government's support will only accelerate this process."

Dr Narendra Shyamsukha, Founder Chairman, ICA Edu Skills
"One of the first things the Government needs to do is cap the GST rate for all types of skill-training irrespective of whether it is Government-funded/CSR funded/self or employer-funded by 15 per cent. Even skill training should be integrated with school education, and it should be made compulsory for at least one job role from class X to XII.

"National Skill Development Corporation’s interest rate charged from skill partners should be reduced from the present by two per cent. The Government needs to make adequate budgetary allocation so that in every district at least 10,000 to 15,000+ people can be given some sort of skill training. The number of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras and budgetary support for them should also be increased.

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Dr Narendra Shyamsukha, Founder Chairman, ICA Edu Skills
Dr Narendra Shyamsukha hopes that the Government spruces up an apprenticeship program.

"In addition, vocational education should be made into a mainstream university which is distinct from engineering and medical streams for students passing out from school. Skill universities should be operated pan-India, instead of state wise. As skill delivery happens in association with employer demand and R&D work, placement tie-ups can be more beneficial, if allowed pan-India.

"One-year internship should be made compulsory for every graduation program. The Government should set aside Budget allocations for international globally-accepted certification and training programs which are standardised skill development tools for creating a baseline skill benchmark. Examples of such alliances and funding are commonplace in many developed as well as developing economies. Also, the Government should spruce up an apprenticeship program that helps industry and academic institutions get on the same page on the skill required from fresh graduates."

Dr RL Raina, Vice-Chancellor, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur
"The countdown to Budget day has started, and expectations of various sops for everyone have risen tremendously. Being an education leader, we are expecting higher allocation of funds in higher education from the present 1.34 per cent for FY 2020-21 to create ‘World Class Institutions’. We are also keen to know the Government’s plans to promote higher education in privately-funded institutions.

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​Dr RL Raina feels India needs a robust, new National Education Policy.
Dr RL Raina feels India needs a robust, new National Education Policy.

"A robust New National Education Policy is needed that will transform India's higher education system into one of the best education systems, globally. This will enable us to get more world university rankings besides only three institutions - two IITs and IISc Bangalore - in the top 200 bracket. To achieve the objectives of research and innovation, FM should start working on setting up of a National Research Foundation (NRF) to fund, co-ordinate and promote research in the country.

"The Government should also promote its 'Study in India' program so that more focus will be put on bringing foreign students and faculty to our institutions of higher learning."

Sachin Karnik, Finance Controller, ITM Group of Institution
“Education sector is one of the most important indicators of any nation’s growth and development. Hence, the sector must be highlighted in budgetary allocation. The higher the allocation of Budget, the more there is a room for improvement. The Budget 2020 should consider to raise the education expenditure nearly to 6 per cent over the next three years which is 4.6 per cent of GDP as of now.

Agencies
​Sachin Karnik​ is looking for improved academic facilities, more jobs and reduction in GST rates for online education.​
Sachin Karnik is looking for improved academic facilities, more jobs and reduction in GST rates for online education.

"Apart from this, we are looking for improved academic facilities, more jobs and reduction in GST rates for online education. PM Narendra Modi's vision of making India digital and advent of digital technologies calls for government aid as they add more skills to match the digital world requirements.

"Also tax free education, teacher training programmes, better education policies are some of the expectations from the government by the education sector for Budget 2020.”


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Steps To Boost Indian Economy

25 Jan, 2020
All eyes are on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she gets to roll out her second Budget on February 1.While the main focus is to spur economic growth, India Inc bosses feel certain initiatives in this year's Budget will help various sectors like food, culture & art, real estate, fintech and automobile. Several suggestions like boosting 'Make In India' in order to generate employment, reviving consumer demand and reintroducing the subvention scheme have also been doing the rounds.As the day nears, here are some suggestions from top business leaders.
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