Budget should focus on tech adoption to boost online education: Deshpande

Anil Urs Koppal (North Karnataka) | Updated on January 10, 2021

RV Deshpande, Former Karnataka Minister for Large and Medium Industries

Infrastructure issues need to be addressed with regard to schools in semi urban and rural India

The Central government should give a push for technology adoption in Budget 2021, said RV Deshpande, former Karnataka Minister for Large and Medium Industries.

In a memorandum to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, Deshpande said “Honestly, something that I expected to happen in 10-15 years, we have already achieved quite a few milestones during the pandemic. However, the government departments across the country may have to put in an extra effort to catch up with the rest of the country.”

Education rising on the digital learning curve

“With regard to tech adoption, we definitely need to address related infrastructural issues — primarily related to online education delivery to schools in semi-urban and rural India. Likewise, there is a long way to go to achieve basic healthcare infrastructure to support our billions and this could be possible through digital transformation,” he said.

Stressing skill development, Deshpande said the quality of higher and technical education continues to be a concern. Some State governments have started availing of World Bank's Quality Improvement Programmes for both higher and technical education. “I haven’t heard if something is being done to strengthen and revamp ITIs in the country,” he said.

Digital learning enabled higher education institutions to address Covid-19 crisis: Pokhriyal

Support for MSMEs

He urged inclusion of toy manufacturing for production linked incentives to promote local manufacturing, as has been stressed by the Prime Minister. (

Like agriculture and exports, MSMEs are the backbone of the Indian economy. “The sector should also be categorised as a priority sector along with related incentives.”

“We all know that MSMEs not only contribute substantially to the GDP, but also generate huge employment. In money value terms, business failures and related provisions could be within tolerable limits provided the portfolios are effectively managed by the banks and lenders,” he added.

Published on January 10, 2021

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