Aspirational India: New Education Policy to be announced soon

Maitri Porecha New Delhi | Updated on February 01, 2020

The Union government is gearing up to announce a new education policy by 2030, as India is set to have “the largest working-age population in the world.”

Not only do they need literacy but they need both job and life skills. Dialogues have been held with State Education Ministries, Members of Parliament and other stake-holders about the education policy. Over two lakh suggestions were also received, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Sitharaman, in her Budget, has stated about greater inflow of finance to attract talented teachers, innovate and build better labs. “Therefore steps would be taken to enable sourcing External Commercial Borrowings and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) so as to be able to deliver higher quality education,” she said.

While there is emphasis on attracting more FDI in higher education centre, there has been a negligible increase in the Higher Education budget. While the Higher Education budget stood at ₹38,717.01 crore in 2019-20 allocation, in 2020-21 it has been marginally hiked to ₹39,466.52 crore.

Digital India E-learning scheme has seen a slash of over ₹100 crore, from ₹579 crore allocated in 2019-20, coming down to ₹444 crore. Also, allocations for research and innovation have been slashed by half from ₹608.87 crore in 2019-20 to ₹307.40 crore in 2020-21.

Despite this slash observed in the accounts, Sitharaman said, “In order to provide quality education to students of deprived section of the society as well as those who do not have access to higher education, it is proposed to start degree level full-fledged online education programme. This shall be offered only by institutions that are ranked within top 100 in the National Institutional Ranking framework. Initially, only a few such institutions would be asked to offer such programmes.”

Sandy Hooda, co-founder of Vega Schools, said, “Specifically which skills have the government identified and how is it planning to develop these skills? Which models will it adopt to build skills? Will it introduce some of the progressive teaching and assessment methods and what will be the outlay for this exercise?”

Hooda further asked, “Will it opt for the Germany type dual-path cognitive and vocational development model? What will be its budget outlay to set up the next generation of schools and teacher training institutes that will help develop the skills required over the next decade? God lies in the details. We eagerly await the new education policy which is to be announced soon.”

Emphasising on the need for students in the general stream vis-à-vis services or technology stream, facing the need to have their employability prospects improved, Sitharaman said that bout 150 higher educational institutions will start apprenticeship embedded degree and diploma courses by March 2021.

The government also proposes to start a programme whereby urban local bodies across the country would provide internship opportunities to fresh engineers for a period up to one year.

Published on February 01, 2020

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