Budget 2024: Boost for Education Sector Elicits Mixed Reactions from Stakeholders

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By vibhuti 4 Min Read

In a pivotal development, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocates ₹1.206 lakh crore to the education ministry in the interim budget 2024-25, drawing varied responses from education stakeholders.

New Delhi, February 02, 2024 – In a significant move, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has earmarked ₹1.206 lakh crore for the education ministry in the interim budget for the fiscal year 2024-25. This allocation reflects a noteworthy 6.8% increase compared to the budget for the previous fiscal year (FY 23-24).

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Breaking down the allocation, ₹73,008.10 crore has been directed towards the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), while ₹47,619.77 crore has been allocated for the Higher Education Department.

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During her budget presentation, Minister Sitharaman highlighted a 28% increase in female enrollment in higher education and a substantial 43% enrollment in STEM courses, positioning India among the world leaders in these metrics.

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Budget 2024: Stakeholders Weigh In

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan applauded the Finance Minister’s decision to establish a ₹1 lakh crore corpus with a 50-year interest-free loan. Dr. Ram Sharma, Vice Chancellor of UPES, expressed optimism, stating, “The government’s proposal to offer interest-free loans to the private sector is a commendable initiative to foster entrepreneurship, research, and innovation.”

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Sitharaman also revealed plans to set up more medical colleges by leveraging existing hospital infrastructure, a move aimed at bolstering the healthcare education sector. A committee is set to be established to examine related issues and make recommendations.

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Optimistic Outlook: Budget 2024

Commenting on the overall budget, Saurabh Kumar, Chief Academic Officer at Vidyamandir Classes, remarked, “The Union Interim Budget 2024-25 emphasizes education sector enhancement, targeting higher education, medical colleges, and youth empowerment through skills development. The budget envisions India as a developed nation by 2047.”

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Budget 2024: Skills Development and Technology Integration

Sitharaman announced that 1.4 crore youths were trained and upskilled under the Skill India Mission. The interim budget underscored the success of the mission, boasting achievements such as the establishment of 3000 new ITIs, 7 IITs, 16 IIITs, 7 IIMs, 15 AIIMS, and 390 universities.

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Prof Abhradeep Maiti, Chairperson of Admissions and Economics at IIM Kashipur, emphasized the government’s strong focus on funding the National Research Fund and establishing the Higher Education Commission to enhance ed-tech resources, including digital infrastructure and hybrid models of learning.

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The higher education sector, it seems, is poised for robust growth with these strategic allocations and initiatives outlined in the interim budget for 2024-25. The final budget is awaited with anticipation, with hopes high for additional initiatives to further elevate the quality and accessibility of education in the country.

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