By - January 25, 2020
January 25, 2020
Each year, as soon as the ceremonial halwa is served in the North Block and Finance Ministry officials are locked in, the entire nation starts asking a question which is embossed on the home page of the Press Information Bureau’s (PIB) website — what’s in it for me? Clicking the youth icon on the portal leads to a dialogue box which identifies five new initiatives under the hashtag #BudgetForNewIndia. These include the New Education Policy (NEP), National Research Foundation (NRF), the ‘Study in India’ programme, Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) and National Sports Education Board (NSEB) under the Khelo India scheme. The fact that each of these proposals can radically transform the education sector makes the forthcoming Union Budget a particularly interesting one. And, for the same reason, there is anxiety too. Moreover, some of the trends in the previous Budget outlays have added to apprehensions. Between 2017-18 and 2019-20, the share of IITs declined from Rs 8,337 crore to Rs 6,223 crore. The University Grants Commission (UGC), IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have registered funds cuts too. Should we be worried?