As the Union Budget 2017 starts to make an impact on each sector, the education and jobs sector is likely to thrive and has received an overall good review from academicians and educationists. Here is what they have to say.
Swapnil Kamat, Founder & CEO, Work Better Training
Budget 2017 has been quite impressive till now. The Finance Minister's projection of a positive outlook for the next financial year is going to be helpful in alleviating the economic tension faced by people post Demonetization.
As an entrepreneur in the training industry, it is heartening for me to see the FM's focus on reducing income tax for small companies, easing out the pressure on such companies. Also, the focus on employment & growth for the youth of the country is going to give a real boost to Skill Development initiative introduced by the government.
Coupled with the emphasis on taking the Digital India initiative forward, I hope to see a big change in the employment and skills scene in the economy in the coming financial year.
Vijay K Thadani, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, NIIT Ltd.
The Budget is directionally good in terms of its focus on quality. A specific statement on granting autonomy to higher education institutions based on performance shows that the government has its priorities right.
SWAYAM got a special mention as the latest digital initiative of the government. It shows the high priority that the government accords towards promoting technology-based learning. A new initiative in higher education, announced by Jaitley, is setting of National Testing Agency which will handle all the entrance exams in higher education. This is a welcome step.
The additional focus on advanced skills development and preparing a global workforce through India International Skills Centres is a very welcome step. Moreover setting up of Digi Gaon will open new vistas for technology-based education for our rural folks.
Shweta Sastri, Executive Director -Canadian International School
I believe budget 2017 will help in enhancing the true potential of our youth and elevating the education standards. Setting up annual learning outcomes would be beneficial in providing and reinstating quality education.
The introduction of 350 online courses will help students to learn virtually, access quality study materials and participate in discussion forums. Budget 2017 will bring science and innovation to the forefront which is the need of the hour.
Also, through SANKALP (Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion Program), market relevant training will boost skill sets of the youth and help in providing employment to many.
Siddharth Chaturvedi, Director, AISECT
I hail the Government's decision of opening 100 international skill centres. Work is already in progress to map India skills sector to international skills sector. For example, there is already equivalence in skills in India and the UK. These 100 international skills centres will go a long way towards providing skilled manpower for the international skills market. Most candidates who go overseas do so without a skills certificate. The launch of these centres will be a good step to make sure that all the labour going out of the country will be certified labour.
Shantanu Prakash, Managing Director, Educomp Solutions Ltd
The allocations made for promotion of education through online means is a substantial initiative and perhaps the greatest emphasis any budget has ever provided and has the potential of creating a tectonic impact in getting more children into the education net.
The continued directional impetus to skill development in all its manifestations shows a well thought out plan and roadmap for the sector and it can only have a salutary effect on job oriented skill education
Sam Santhosh, Founder and Chairman, MedGenome
A long awaited relief to the rural and lower middle class. With the rising medical cost, it was impossible for certain sections of the society to even afford life-saving drugs.
It's a welcome step to reach and penetrate even remote areas with limited healthcare access. Building an efficient healthcare system seems to be high on the agenda for the present government. We need more trained doctors and that too specialists catering to the rural areas.
By increasing the additional 5,000 post graduate seats per annum the government has shown its intent to transform the healthcare and its determination to eradicate diseases.
Utpal Ghosh, CEO and President, UPES, University of Petroleum Energy Studies
The Union Budget 17-18 is progressive in nature as far as the education sector is concerned. The FM has delivered a bold, far-sighted budget that will help energise youth through education, skills and jobs.
Higher Education continues to be an expensive provision for the average youth of the country. Introducing an Innovation fund for secondary education and undertaking reforms in UGC to improve higher education, would help the students in seeking better education and hence enriching the country, making its economic development progressive.
The government proposes to establish a National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions. This would free CBSE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics.