Key announcement for education sector in Budget 2022
In the 2022-23 budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made several announcements for the education sector. From opening a digital university to expanding the reach of the PM e-vidya program to reach more students, the budget aims to close the learning gap caused by school closures.
Although the economic study released on January 31 said there was no data to estimate the extent of learning losses caused by school closures, it acknowledged that students, especially those rural areas, had no access to education. To fill the void, FM announced:
A class one television channel: The existing system of providing supplementary instruction through television will be extended. Currently, there are 12 television channels dedicated to classes 1 to 12. These classes will be offered through 200 channels. The goal is to allow each state to deliver lessons through one channel for one class, FM said. Internet, mobile phone, television, radio and digital features. A mechanism will be put in place to help teachers develop quality electronic content.
“Due to the school closures caused by the pandemic, our children have lost almost two years of formal education. We recognized the need to provide additional education and put in place resilient mechanisms for the delivery of education,” said FM Sitharaman.
Read | Learning loss cannot be filled by TV, Modi Govt’s One Class One Channel program criticized
Redesign of the program of the University of Agriculture: The FM, in its budget speech, said states will be encouraged to revise agricultural college curricula. The new curriculum will include zero budget farming, natural farming, modern farming, value addition and management along with the existing chapters. A committee will be formed to revise the programs.
Digital University: A digital university will be developed to enable students to access world-class quality education with ISTE standards. The digital university will provide “universal world-class quality education” with personalized learning, informed FM. To ensure that it is accessible to students from all states and that language is not a barrier, the university will offer courses in different Indian languages. universities will also be invited to collaborate and offer courses, which will be available in all ICT formats and will operate according to the “hub and spoke” model. The best universities and public institutes will collaborate as a network of hub-spokes.
Professional courses to be realigned with industry needs: FM said all training programs will be reoriented. The National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) will be aligned with industry needs. FM says some ITIs in every state will offer refresher courses. ITIs will also have skill courses on new age courses including drones, drone surveillance, etc.
Mental Health Program: Launched a national tele-mental health program to address the mental health needs of citizens of all age groups. Mental health, FM said, has been impacted due to the pandemic. The government will set up 23 national tele-mental health centres. IIIT Bangalore will be roped in to develop content and program for the same.
DESH-Stack Portal: The government has launched a portal to train its people and make them employable. The Digital Ecosystem for Skills and Livelihoods (DESH-Stack eportal) will soon be launched. This portal aims to give citizens the means to acquire skills, retrain or improve their skills through online training. It will also provide API-based trusted skills credentials, payment and discovery layers to find relevant jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, FM said.
750 science and mathematics laboratories, 75 skills laboratories: In vocational streams, to promote crucial critical thinking skills, to give space to creativity, 750 virtual labs in science and mathematics, and 75 e-labs of skills for the simulated learning environment, will be put in place in 2022-23. High-quality electronic content in all spoken languages will be developed for distribution via the internet, mobile phones, television and radio through Digital Teachers, Sitharaman said.
Center of Excellence in Urban Planning: Five existing academic institutions, the FM said, would be designated as centers of excellence in urban planning with an endowment fund of Rs 250 crore each.
60 Lakh Jobs under Prime Minister Gati Shakti: The government plans to add 60 lakh new jobs under Prime Minister Gati Shakti’s master plan. Rs 6400 crores has been allocated to Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana for the financial year 2023. This is an increase from Rs 5000 crores for the financial year 2022.
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