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  • Budget expectations commentary by Prof. Manoj K Arora, Vice Chancellor, BML Munjal University (BMU)

    Published on January 25, 2022

    Many educational reforms have been proposed in the NEP 2020, both for schools and for higher education and a number of initiatives have been undertaken by the Government for the smooth implementation of NEP at different levels. Most schools and higher educational institutions have accepted these reforms in anticipation that these changes will bring in quality in education, by promoting greater flexibility in learning and teaching, institutional agility, seamless integration of school to university, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, research & development and a focus on teacher education.

    All these can only be achieved if the education sector is allocated the budget as proposed in the NEP i.e., 6% of GDP. The proposed National Research Foundation needs to be created with adequate funds to promote research & development in the country and faculty are eagerly waiting for this initiative. The mandate of 9 science and technology mega clusters, announced in Budget 2021, may be expanded to include teaching and learning in addition to research and development. This will lead to the optimal use of faculty and laboratory resources, and also quality in pedagogy, given that the Academic Bank of Credits is in place. This may require incentivising faculty and staff, for which a separate endowment can be envisaged. Further, in order to bring in a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, a national entrepreneurship fund can be created to provide seed funding to budding entrepreneurs in early stage businesses.

    Higher education institutions in the private sector cater for more than two-thirds of India’s education. The not-for-profit institutions in this sector may be given tax exemptions similar to public institutions in the country. Undoubtedly, the future of education in the country is bright provided that the reforms mentioned in NEP 2020 are implemented in their true letter and spirit, which in turn will depend upon the availability of adequate funds, grants, endowments, incentives and tax reliefs to educational institutions and educationists. Budget 2022 can provide critical momentum to the implementation of NEP.”

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