Budget 2022: Promote edtech startups, demand private higher education institutions

Union Budget 2022: Support research, reduce interest on education loans, revise GST rates, promote edtech startups, demand private colleges VCs, directors.

Budget 2022: Promote edtech startups, demand private higher education institutions Union Budget 2022: Private colleges, universities demand revision of GST rates, involvement of edtech startups majorly
Vagisha Kaushik | Jan 30, 2022 - 5:24 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Directors and vice-chancellors of private colleges and universities demand better systems for research, boost in education infrastructure, reduction in GST rates, encouragement and involvement of private edtech startups in the Union Budget 2022. The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the India budget 2022 at 11am on February 1 in the parliament.

Kulneet Suri, Senior Director at Institute of Management Studies (IMS) Noida expects the government to support the higher education sector in terms of research, especially medical healthcare. He expects larger and robust systems to be created to boost research for better preparedness for pandemic-like situations. “Micro-campuses are the need of the hour. Online learning must be promoted to reach out to youth in the Tier 2-3 cities,” he said.

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Niranjan Hiranandani, Provost, HSNC University expects a boost in the infrastructure, both physical and digital. Budget 2022 must also consider boosting the education loan size by reducing the interest on such loans to fulfill lack of finance which is the reason for drop-outs in higher education, he said.

“Not to forget, GST rates also create financial pressure on the middle and lower strata. Revision in GST rates for educational services will have a great impact on national literacy as it will help aspiring students to chase and accomplish their academic training,” he added. The budget 2022 should make all the facilities for students, teachers, institutions and every associated stakeholder, who have been deprived of, due to the pandemic, he further said.

Involve edtech startups, revise GST rates

YSR Murthy, founding vice-chancellor, RV University, Bengaluru said, “...As two-thirds of the higher education sector is in the hands of the private sector, it is time to encourage private corporate philanthropy…We also need to create an enabling environment to let the private sector come forward and establish new institutions. Contributions made by a corporate or a foundation to a University, research center, center of excellence or a new university approved by the government or an approved programme under a university-industry partnership, should be eligible for deduction from taxable income to the extent of 300% of such contribution.”

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He also expects the government to set up a scholarship to be named “The Indian Corporate Higher Education Scholarship’ with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crores contributed by the top 1000 corporations of the country. This scholarship should be run by an eminent independent board and encouraged by the government by providing full matching grants, he further said.

Raj Singh, vice-chancellor, JAIN (Deemed-to-be-University) said, “The EdTech startups providing services to universities or to the students directly are required to levy 18% GST on fees they charge, which increases the cost for clients. Removal of tax or significant reduction for all edtech companies, particularly for startups will certainly boost online education, which will help achieve higher Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) as envisaged in the new NEP 2020.”

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