The countdown to Budget day has started and expectations of various sops for everyone have risen tremendously. Being an education leader, we are expecting a higher allocation of funds in higher education from the present 1.34% for FY 2020-21 to create ‘World Class Institutions’ and are also keen to know the government’s plans to promote higher education in privately funded institutions. 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, the Finance Minister should start working on setting up of a National Research Foundation (NRF) to fund, coordinate 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,” said Dr. RL Raina, Vice-Chancellor, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur.
“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%. Even skill training should be integrated with school education and it should be made compulsory for at least 1 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 2 %. 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. In addition, it would be well worth it if vocational education is made a mainstream university option 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. A 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 standardized 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,” said Dr. Narendra Shyamsukha, Founder Chairman, ICA Edu Skills.
“Education plays an important role in shaping the human capital of a nation as only when the masses are educated can their energies be used for productive purposes. Nonetheless, the same people become a burden on the resources of the nation when they are limited to human labor whose contribution does not go beyond physical work. The government must take note of the fact that investment in education is a long term investment the return of which starts coming after 10-20 years although they keep coming after 50-60 years. This is why the government must make all types of education tax free as charging 18 percent GST on education is a huge burden on students who belong to poor and middle-class families and want to change their future with the help of education. Currently the government spends about 3 percent of the GDP on education which is not enough to improve the infrastructure as well as increase the role of technology in education like smart classrooms and artificial intelligence for personalized learning. Also, the government needs to focus on vocational training courses which will not only enable students to acquire different techniques but will come in handy if students want to get that extra skill which gives them an upper hand over other candidates while appearing for job interviews as well as reduce the burden on the regular curriculum. The government should make counseling mandatory for students in the place of learning as they will be able to advise students about career options based on their aptitude”, says Mr.Rachit Jain, CEO & Founder, Youth4Work.