- The finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Union Budget 2021-22
- 15,000 schools are to be qualitatively strengthened to include all components of the National Education Policy
New Delhi: The finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in the Union Budget 2021-22, that over 15,000 schools are to be qualitatively strengthened to include all components of the National Education Policy. This is indeed a commendable step by the government for the effective Implementation of NEP as these schools will mentor and work as a model for the policy implementation across the country. The proposal to enhance academic collaboration with foreign higher education institutions and instituting a regulatory mechanism for dual degrees, joint degrees, and twinning and the proposed indigenous toy-based learning in schools has the potential to transform higher education and school education in the country.
The partnerships with UAE and Training Inter Training Programme (TITP) between India and Japan will lead to the enhancement of the skill levels of the workforce, techniques, and knowledge: Monica Malhotra Kandhari– Managing Director, MBD Group
Managing Director, MBD Group, Monica Malhotra Kandhari said, “The announcement of setting up of 100 new Sainik schools in collaboration with NGOs and private organizations, setting up of Higher Education Commission for better synergy in the higher education institutes, set up of a central university in Leh are welcome initiatives by the govt to further strengthen the education sector in India. In addition, the proposed 750 Ekalavya residential schools in the Tribal Areas, Fund allocated for Skill Development for students from Diploma in Engineering and Research & Development will help in creating a large pool of skilled manpower. The Union Budget has also proposed National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) which will support teaching and learning activities, educational planning, governance, and administrative activities of the Centre and the States/ Union Territories. Simultaneously, the National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers for Holistic Advancement (NISTHA) will train 56 lakh school teachers in 2021-22 digitally is a promising move that is expected to take classroom teaching to next level. Also, the partnerships with UAE and Training Inter Training Programme (TITP) between India and Japan will lead to the enhancement of the skill levels of the workforce, techniques, and knowledge. Another noteworthy proposal contained in this year’s budget is the realignment of the existing National Apprenticeship Training Scheme (NATS) for providing post-education apprenticeship and the allocation of over 3000 crores for the same.” She further added
The budget, however, did not address some pressing concerns of the education sector, the import duty on newsprint paper which was increased by 10% in the last budget had increased the cost of paper for printing books for domestic consumption. Reducing the basic outcome on import of newsprint and light-weight coated paper to 5% would have reduced the burden on the publishing sector. Input credit availed for input, capital goods, and input services are charged a higher rate resulting in an un-adjustable excess credit lying in books, a mechanism to make corresponding input chargeable at the same rate if incorporated in the budget would have been ideal. Similarly, GST was exempted for educational books whereas input, capital goods, and input services remained within the purview of GST. A mechanism to either make corresponding input/input service/ capital goods exempt from GST or applying GST on sale of educational books so that manufacturers do not lose out on input credit, the budget missed the opportunity to rectify this anomaly.
However, we were looking for some measures related to the travel & hospitality sector such as awarding infrastructure status to the hospitality industry and reducing the GST rate on hospitality which have not been addressed in the budget- Sonika Malhotra Kandhari–Joint Managing Director, MBD Group
Joint Managing Director of MBD Group, Sonica Malhotra Kandhari also said, “Overall, the Budget 2021 is a pragmatic and positive budget which is committed to key sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, and infrastructure development. Higher allocation of Rs 64,180 crore on healthcare which also includes Rs.35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccines is committed to ensuring fast rollout of mass vaccination and restoring normalcy. This is also expected to give much impetus to the travel & tourism industry in the coming year. Moreover, the privatization of airlines, allocation of 1.10 lakh crore outlay for railways, and boost to infrastructure development such as the development of new highway projects is a welcome step that would lead the economy to a new growth trajectory. However, we were looking for some measures related to the travel & hospitality sector such as awarding infrastructure status to the hospitality industry and reducing the GST rate on hospitality which have not been addressed in the budget. These reforms would have helped in the revival of this industry as it has been severely battered by the pandemic.”