Academicians hope for a grant of technological tools for better awareness in the 2022 budget

Educators across India are eagerly awaiting positive improvements in the education sector with the Union Budget 2022 to be presented by India’s Minister of Finance and Trade, Nirmala Sitharaman.

The budget for the sector has been reduced from Rs 99,311 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 93,224 crore in 2021-22, resulting in increased demands ranging from increased budget allocation to initiation of funding in specific sections due to the evolution of digital learning. Professors, directors and educators from leading institutions, in a conversation with the Free Press Journal, expressed their thoughts on the push the education sector needs for sustainable growth, especially during a pandemic.

“A substantial increase in budgetary allocation to the higher education sector, at least up to 6% of GDP, is expected. To fully harness the demographic dividend that India is currently enjoying, a massive upgrade of educational infrastructure at all levels is needed,” said Dr. Anand B, Assistant Professor at Sarla Anil Modi School of Economics, NMIMS, who writes regularly for reputable national and international journals like Indian Economic Review, Central Bank Review, Energy Economics and London School of Economics.

“There must be provisions to distribute mobile phones and laptops among the weakest sections of society, either free of charge or at substantially subsidized rates, while making massive public investments in the modernization of infrastructure, which which includes unhindered electricity supply and broadband internet penetration across the country,” Dr. Anand added, while emphasizing the importance of Edtech platforms by offering them tax breaks/exemptions and more allowances of funds through the flagship Startup India program.

According to the Director of Faculty Development Cell, All India Council for Technical Education, Colonel B Venkat, a collective approach between the Center and the state to bring about developments in the education sector is needed. He believes that the National Research Foundation, an autonomous body envisaged under the National Education Policy (NEP), should be highlighted. “NRF, which provides research-oriented mechanisms and has sufficient grants, aims to fund researchers working in all fields in India,” Col Venkat added.

“Increasing public spending on education to 6% of GDP in the center and states from current levels of just over 4.43% is something I look forward to. education should be diversified, ranging from junior to senior secondary, as well as medical, technological, mechanical, scientific and social sciences, to balance the development of education, as it has an impact on the steady economic growth of the sector” , suggested Dr. Srinivasan R.Iyengar, Director of Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. a foundation or other granting entity to a university or research center within the framework of an institute-industry partnership should be eligible for a tax deduction The advantages of the he corporate social responsibility (CSR) for industries to provide more academic support to schools and colleges should be considered. »

Dr. Srinivasan further added that much attention needs to be paid at the micro level between rural and urban areas of a country, “Appropriate governance mechanisms need to be created for implementation under national policy education (NEP). Resource allocation usually includes funds for education. , teachers, research, training development, and teaching infrastructure (e.g., school grounds, buildings, accommodation facilities, and electronic media). Over 250 million students are expected to enroll in schools in India by 2030. 1:35 AM India needs about 7 million teachers to cope with this huge student population. More funding allocations are needed from the government to overcome the acute shortage of quality teachers.

Niyati Bhanja, Associate Professor and Area Head, Business Management Area at MICA Ahmedabad, said that although budget allocations reaching pre-pandemic levels is important, given the increasing budget deficit is also essential because the Treasury should not be burdened. “Research and skills development, especially in higher education, needs urgent attention from the authorities while also focusing on scholarships for women from different communities to enjoy the benefits and pursue their research without barriers.Since school and college dropout rates are an issue that India has grappled with for a long time, programs that directly engage people in skilled jobs who cannot or will not to pursue their studies should be launched,” Prof. Bhanja said.

She also welcomed Edtech’s entry into the education sector. “The fact that Edtech is unregulated undermines its reliability in the future and therefore needs a clear regulatory framework under AICTE, UGC or other bodies. Edtech also provides valuable certificates through its courses and so it is high time we provided a pathway for them in the future,” she recommended.

For some like Neelima Verma, an assistant professor at CME in Pune, looking to other countries’ models when it comes to providing timely grants is something she expects to replicate in the budget. “We need faster sanction and access to grants so that we can advance our research projects. Often the delay, which is up to two years in some cases, leads to a loss of scope of the project,” said Professor Verma who also expects the government to focus on subsidizing or providing resources such as a laptop, internet, tablets, etc. so that faculty do not face financial constraints in teaching students.

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Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2022, 8:55 PM IST

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