Budget 2023: Doubling allocation for education, upskilling need of the hour, experts say

India Budget 2023: EdTech experts expect the finance minister to present a road map for doubling allocation for education over the next three years.

Union Budget 2023 expectations (Image: Shutterstock)Union Budget 2023 expectations (Image: Shutterstock)

Anu Parthiban | January 23, 2023 | 02:17 PM IST

NEW DELHI: A week before the Budget session, academics, EdTech experts bat for revamping skilling ecosystem, doubling fund allocation for education sector and improving vocational education. This year, the Budget session of Parliament will commence on January 31 and end on April 6. Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting the Union Budget 2023 on February 1.

Requesting the government to recognise and encourage upskilling, Madhushree Sekher, Dean, School of Vocational Education, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai said: “Vocational Education is an important area, which requires decisive effort from the government. The whole concept of vocational education will be relevant only when secondary-level education in the vocational space is linked to higher education."

"We would like government to recognize and encourage a continuum of vocational education from the school level to higher educational institutes through the 3 year BVoc (undergraduate programme) and postgraduate programme relating to the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) skill- level 4.5, 5.5, 6.7 and 7. This will enhance the employability,” Sekher said.

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‘Skilling ecosystem needs a massive revamp’

Chocko Valliappa, Vice Chairman, Sona group of Education Institutions’ said that the education sector expects the finance minister to present a roadmap for doubling allocation for education over the next three years by cutting down/re-aligning a host of grants, subsidies and other financial SOPs.

On budget expectations for the education and skilling sector, Valliappa said: “Reports suggest that India has just crossed China in terms of total population and is now the most populous nation. To reap the demographic dividend, education and skilling are of utmost importance, and I hope the allocation for both in the Union budget are doubled to create India as the Knowledge epicenter of the world.”

“The skilling ecosystem needs a massive revamp. The fund allocation should be routed through the employer as is being done in the National Apprenticeship Training Scheme by BOAT thereby ensuring that there is job creation and not just skilling on paper,” Chocko Valliappa added.

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Tax exemption

Jai Decosta, founder and CEO of K12 Techno Services, on their expectations for the education sector from the Union Budget 2023, said: “To strengthen India’s promising EdTech and digital start-up ecosystem, we expect the government to ramp up the digital infrastructure, robust education facilitation, data protection policies, and more tax exemptions in the upcoming Union Budget.”

Citing the need for tax exemptions, the K12 Techno Services suggested lower GST, subsidies for students, improved internet connectivity, affordable 5G devices, and more budget allocation for improving the technology infrastructure at schools to accelerate the growth of the education sector and for making educational services accessible and affordable.

“With emerging technologies and market trends, upskilling is the need of the hour, and we hope that the budget also focuses on the upskilling sector. We also need more grants for research and development and tax breaks for companies that invest in ed-tech,” Jai Decosta said.

“We anticipate that taxes on educational programmes will be reduced significantly from the current 18% tax. This will ease the burden of millions of learners seeking a better future through skilling and upskilling programmes, thereby influencing employability and employment,” the statement said.

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