Union Budget 2022: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, yesterday announced the annual budget. Different new announcements have been done. Where many have hailed the new Union Budget 2022, several opposition leaders said about different loopholes in the budget. The education sector has got new upliftment through the budget. In her fourth Union Budget (2022) presentation, tabled a record Rs 104,277.72 crore for expenditure on education for Financial Year 2023. This is Rs 11,053.41 crore more than the Budget estimate of Rs 93,224 crore for the Financial Year 2022 and translates to nearly 12 percent growth compared to last year.
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Union Budget 2022: Scopes for Education
- There will be a formation of a Digital University to provide access to world-class education to Indian students. Due to prolonged online classes for students, the budget focuses on digital learning. It will provide a smoother form of education with the well prepared online platform of education.
- The minister also announced the National Education Policy (NEP) will be given priority in online education as well. The announced digital university will impart lessons in all regional languages creating a network of ‘hub and spoke’. The university will also work with the other central universities in the country to provide the required digital infrastructure and training.
- There will be a new e-learning content delivery platform, launched via the internet, TV, and smartphones to help students in rural and semi-urban areas. The minister laid focus on “1 class 1 TV channel” while announcing the current scheme.
- There will be SWAYAM PRABHA TV under PM e-vidya scheme, and the existing 12 channels will be expanded to 200. These channels will be available in all regional languages, as said by Finanace Minister during her speech on Union Budget 2022. New skill development courses will also be introduced in the Indian Technical Institutes to enable the youth of the country.
Union Budget 2022: Agriculture courses to get modified
- The government has also laid focus on Agri education during the announcement of Union Budget 2022. The minister stressed on revising syllabi of agricultural universities, and to include the needs of natural, zero-budget & organic farming, modern-day agriculture. “States will be encouraged to revise the syllabus of agricultural universities to meet the needs of natural, zero-budget and organic farming, modern-day agriculture, value addition and management,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech.
- The Union government has already started pushing the concept of zero-budget natural farming as an initiative that will work towards making the vocation of farming more sustainable as well as improving the income of the farmers by reducing costs of inputs, in addition to other areas such as better market access and improved product returns to the farmers.
- Earlier on December 16, 2021, while addressing the National Summit on Agro and Food Processing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised natural farming in his speech as a ‘promising tool’ in improving the situation of the farmers. Following this, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), the apex body for coordinating, guiding, and managing research and education in agriculture, issued a circular to all the central and state universities to take initiatives to promote natural farming.
- Other traditional practices such as mulching the soil with biomass or keeping the soil covered with green cover around the year, even when water availability is low, are practices that ensure sustained productivity even from the first year of adoption, say experts.
Higher Education on Focus
The budget allotted for Central Universities, Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), and other centrally-funded institutions have increased significantly. The budgets for University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have been increased as well. For school education, the Union Budget 2022, outlays Rs 63,449.37 crore, nearly Rs 9,000 crore more than the budget in 2021-22. There is also a significant increase in the budgets for institutes such as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, and this will surely boost school level education in the country.