Education: Pre-budget Expectation During Ongoing Pandemic

The funding needs to be increased considering the need for robust research and development in the field of education.

2020 was in many ways a hard time for the Indian economy. With a drop in GDP, rising inflation, low tax revenue, and the growing rate of unemployment, the Indian economy is crippling with severe issues.

Now, the countdown for the Union Budget 2021 has begun and the country expects a lot from the Finance Minister. This Budget is being closely observed by the entire country, is deemed to be one of the most crucial budget announcements of the decade.

The onset of COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed the education sector. Every education company has transformed itself to become an edtech company by finding innovative methods to teach and help the student in these unprecedented times. 

While the onset of the pandemic has caused a lot of disruption, it has also enabled and helped us transform this space with the maximum usage of digital tools to aide students. It fast-forwarded and pushed the education sector to adopt the latest technologies and innovate. With a focus on education, it is imperative that the entire sector receives a higher allocation of government budgets, at least by 10-12%. This year is to reboot and reorganise the economy, due to the yearlong rough patch, owing to the pandemic. It will take a long time to recover, but the budget can marshal a positive start from the negative impact and help sustain growth and bring back prosperity. 

The budget can help in bettering the access, quality, research and innovation of the sector. The New Education Policy 2020 is a brilliant step in our education field, which focuses on extracurricular and vocational learning integrated with academics. This is a huge step that will help the future generation tremendously, by giving every child an opportunity to explore their true potential and passion. This will give a massive push to the fields of arts, music, drama etc. Companies which are focussing on such activities should be encouraged and special tax benefits should be considered for them. 

The funding needs to be increased considering the need for robust research & development in the field of education. There is a need to provide financial relief to the extracurricular and vocational learning sector to create an unshakable commitment to foster a diverse and inclusive community of learners, driven by values and talents to set a new benchmark in Research & Development.

India is home to over 63 million startups ( basis MSME ministry data). The entire loan approval process for MSME’s sector needs to be simplified and reviewed. Last 12 months we have witnessed a huge inflow of investments, similarly, we must also review the loans granted to EdTechs through government channels. EdTech sector should also be part of the benefits granted by the government to MSMEs which will enable positive impact and promote good education.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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