Budget draws a blueprint for India at100, lays foundation for transforming India into a technology-driven knowledge-based economy – Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship  Dharmendra Pradhan has lauded the Union Budget 2023-24 as being inclusive, people-centric and growth-stimulating Budget. He said that this AmritKaal Budget includes everyone, empowers poor & middle class, reaches the last mile and brings cheer to all.

Expressing his gratitude to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, he said that giving a boost to education, skill development, entrepreneurship, R&D, digital infrastructure, green growth and job creation, the Budget draws a meticulous blueprint for India at100 and lays a solid foundation for transforming India into a technology-driven knowledge-based economy.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan highlighted that Ministry of Education has been allocated Rs 112899.47 crore. This is the highest allocation ever to the Education Ministry. The budgetary allocation witnessed the jump of 13% (over revised estimates) which is 13,018.34 cr from FY 2022-23, he added. The Department of School Education has been allocated Rs 68,804.85 crore and Department of Higher Education gets Rs 44,094.62 crore.

Highlights from Budget Speech relating to  Education Ministry are mentioned below:

  • To empower our youth and help the ‘Amrit Peedhi’ realize their dreams, we have formulated the National Education Policy, focused on skilling, adopted economic policies that facilitate job creation at scale, and have supported business opportunities.
  • Teachers’ Training will be re-envisioned through innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, continuous professional development, dipstick surveys, and ICT implementation. The District Institutes of Education and Training will be developed as vibrant institutes of excellence for this purpose.
  • Setting up of a National Digital Library for Children and Adolescents for facilitating availability of quality books across geographies, languages, genres and levels, and device agnostic accessibility. States will be encouraged to set up physical libraries at Panchayat and ward level.

· To build a culture of reading and to make up for pandemic-time learning loss, the National Book Trust, Children’s Book Trust and other sources will be encouraged to provide and replenish non curricular titles in regional languages and English to these physical libraries. Collaboration with NGOs that work in literacy will also be a part of this initiative. To inculcate financial literacy, financial sector regulators and organizations will be encouraged to provide age-appropriate reading material to these libraries.

Highlights of Budget 2022-23 – Department of School Education & Literacy

  • There has been an overall increase of Rs. 9752.07 cr (16.51%) in the Budget Allocation of Department of School Education & Literacy in the FY 2023-24 from FY 2022-23 (RE).
  • The overall Budget Allocation in FY 2023-24 is Rs. 68804.85 cr out of which Scheme allocation is Rs. 54374.48 cr and Non- Scheme allocation is Rs. 14430.37 cr.
  • Budget Allocation for FY 2023-24 in the Flagship Scheme of PM Poshan has increased by Rs. 1366.25 cr (13.35%) from Rs. 10233.75 cr in BE 2022-23 to Rs. 11600.00 cr in BE 2023-24.
  • Budget Allocation for FY 2023-24 in the Scheme of PM SHRI has increased by Rs. 2200.00 cr (122.22%) from Rs. 1800.00 cr in BE 2022-23 to Rs. 4000.00 cr in BE 2023-24. Under the scheme there is provision of setting up of More than 14500 PM SHRI Schools (PM Schools for Rising India) by strengthening the existing schools from amongst schools managed by Central government/ State/ UT Government/ local bodies. The duration of scheme is proposed to be from 2022-23 to 2026-27. More than 20 lakh students are expected to be direct beneficiaries of the scheme.Schools under PM SHRI will showcase the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020 and emerge as exemplar schools over a period of time, and also offer leadership to other schools in the neighbourhood by providing high-quality education in an equitable, inclusive and joyful school environment that takes care of the diverse background, multilingual needs, and different academic abilities of children and makes them active participants in their own learning process as per the vision of NEP 2020.
  • Budget Allocation for FY 2023-24 for the World Bank aided Scheme of STARS has increased by Rs. 250.00 cr (45.45%) from Rs. 550.00 cr in BE 2022-23 to Rs. 800.00 cr in BE 2023-24.
  • Budget Allocation for FY 2023-24 in the Scheme of NILP has increased by Rs. 30.00 cr (23.62%) from Rs. 127.00 cr in BE 2022-23 to Rs. 157.00 cr in BE 2023-24.
  • Budget Allocation for FY 2023-24 in the Flagship Scheme of Samagra Shiksha has increased by Rs. 70.11 cr(0.18%) from Rs. 37383.36 cr in BE 2022-23 to Rs. 37453.47 cr in BE 2023-24.
  • Allocation in KVS has increased by Rs. 713.98 cr (9.33%) (from Rs.7650.00 cr in BE 2022-23 to Rs. 8363.98 cr in BE 2023-24) and in NVS by 1371.50 cr (33.32%) (from Rs.4115.00cr in BE 2022-23 to Rs. 5486.50 cr in BE 2023-24).

Highlights of Budget 2023-24  – Department of Higher Education

  • In BE 2023-24 for Higher Education an amount of Rs. 44,094.62 crore has been made as compared to Rs.  40,828.35 Crore in RE 2022-23, which is an increase of 8%.
  • In order to implement the NEP 2020 in true spirit, the best Institutions and Universities of the country, under the central government, have been given an additional Rs 4235.74 crores, which is an increase of 12.8 % over their allocation last year.
  • In BE 2023-24 Grant or UGC has been increased by 9.37% i.e. an increase of 459 crores.
  • Grant to CU have been increased by 17.66 %, Deemed University by 27%, support to IITs have been increased by 14%, and to NITs by 10.5% as compared to BE 2022-23. Also IISC, Bangalore’s Grant has been increased by 15%.
  • In BE 2023-24 for Prime Minister Research Fellowship (PMRF) an amount of Rs. 400 Crores has been provided as compared to Rs 200 Crores in BE 2022-23 i.e. 100% increase.
  • 3 Centres of Excellence will be set up in educational institutions to “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”.  NEP recognizes the role of AI in all sectors of the economy which will require new skill set of the work force.  AI has important role to play in the Agriculture, Health, Automobiles, Cyber Security, Smart Home / City Infrastructure, Data Analysis, Speech Recognition, Customer Service, Automated Stock Trading, Online shopping, Machine Translation,  Digital Personal Assistance.
  • CoEs will implement the NEP 2020 vision of multidisciplinary research in agriculture, health and sustainable cities. It will also help premier educational institutions to transform research to cutting edge technology and replicate it to saleable problem solving for a country of our size and diversity.
  • National Data Governance Policy-unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia, a National Data Governance Policy will be brought out. This will enable access to anonymized data and will help drive ‘Anusandhan’ across HEIs.
  • 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services will be set up in HEIs., to realize new range of opportunities, business models and employment potential. Labs will cover among others, apps like Smart Classrooms, Precision Farming, Intelligent Transports Systems and Healthcare. This government has been attempting to transform engineering education by introducing courses in emerging sector and make the approach multidisciplinary, not only in IITs, NITs and IISERs etc but in engineering institutions across the country. 100 labs in engineering institutions on 5G technology related applications will provide a fillip to employment, start-ups, businesses and promote innovation & entrepreneurship in our young engineers.
  • Recognizing the pioneer role of the IITs in research excellence in the country, the FM announced that a research and development grant for indigenous production of Lab Grown Diamond (LGD) seeds and machines will be given to one of the IITs for 5 years. This will ensure an industry led research and innovation effort, with direct impact on exports, employment generation and India’s share in the world trade in this sector.

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