Union Interim Budget 2024: Promises for the Education Sector
► Efforts are on to make India a Viksit Bharat by 2047.
► More medical colleges to be set up soon. “Our government plans to set up more medical colleges by utilizing the existing hospital infrastructure. A committee for this purpose would be set up to examine the issues and make relevant recommendations,” said the Finance Minister.
► Tech-savvy youth can expect a golden era. “A corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore will be established with a 50-year interest-free loan provided. It will be for long-term financing or re-financing with low or nil interest rates,” said Sitharaman.
► Strategy for Amrit Kaal – “Our government will adopt economic policies which will foster and sustain growth, facilitate inclusive and sustainable development, improve productivity, create opportunities for all and help them enhance their capabilities and contribute to generation of resources to power investments and fulfill aspirations,” she said.
Union Budget 2024-25: The Education Scenario So Far
In her Interim Budget 2024-25 speech, Sitharaman talked about the achievements witnessed in the education sector so far. Here are the points she highlighted.
► Empowering the youth is a must. Fund of Funds, Startup India and Startup Credit Guarantee Schemes are assisting our youth.
► PM SHRI schools are delivering quality teaching and nurturing holistic and well rounded individuals.
► The Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youth, upskilled and re-skilled 54 lakh youth, and established 3000 new ITIs.
► The present government has set up 7 new IITs, 16 IIITs, 7 IIMs, 15 AIIMS and 390 new universities have been set up.
► The National Education Policy 2020 is ushering is delivering quality teaching and nurturing, holistic and well rounded individuals scaling their mission to one point.
► Female enrollment in higher education has gone up by 28 per cent in 10 years. In STEM courses, girls and women make 43 per cent of enrollment, one of the highest in the world.
A look back at the Education Budget 2023
In the fiscal year 2023 budget, the Ministry of Education secured a significant allocation of Rs 1,12,899 crore, reflecting a substantial increase of 13 percent. This amounted to 2.9 percent of the central government’s total estimated expenditure for the financial year 2024. The primary beneficiary of these funds was the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan, which received Rs 37,453 crore, closely followed by autonomous bodies. Here is an overview of the major initiatives:
- School Education received Rs 68,805 crore, indicating a significant increase of 16.5 percent compared to the revised expectations for FY23.
- Higher Education was allotted Rs 44,095 crore, marking an eight percent increase from the revised expectations for FY23.
- The budget also highlighted key initiatives such as the focus on Ekalavya Schools’ recruitment, the introduction of research programs, and the establishment of new research centers.
- Additional enhancements were introduced through the revision of the apprenticeship scheme and the establishment of 157 new nursing colleges.