APN News

  • Thursday, July, 2022| Today's Market | Current Time: 01:30:34
  • By Prateek Gujral, Principal Advisor (South Asia), Augustana University, South Dakota, US

    As a result of the despondency that engulfed the country during the previous fiscal year, Budget 2022-23 will be a watershed event in many ways. It can create the framework for India’s long-term fiscal progress, allowing it to realise its dream of becoming a prosperous economy. This is the year to restructure and revitalise the economy, which has been severely impacted by the pandemic. 

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    COVID-19 has certainly thrown humanity countless challenges that will take years to address. However, the education sector responded quickly to the pandemic’s issues, virtually entirely migrating to an online mode of delivery in a short period. 

    Higher education institutions (HEIs) have understood that this transformation is for the better, and they will keep using technology in the classroom even after the pandemic is over. But a lot of investment in infrastructure development is required to involve not just machinery but seamless Internet connections as well.

    HEIs expect the government to recognise this fact and urge regulators to make the required changes to their regulatory frameworks to accommodate a mix of both offline and online learning. 

    It is critical to emphasize that education will play a critical role in assisting the government in achieving its objective of making India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025, and as a result, education must be accorded the same importance as other major economic sectors.

    India’s National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has opened up the movement of both students and teachers across the world. Besides, it puts a lot of emphasis on research collaborations and mutually beneficial academic partnerships.

    India and the United States share a lot of synergies, especially in the field of education. Strengthening the collaborations between educational institutions of the two countries, by interlinking academia and industry, can prove a boon for economies of both. The idea is to have more student and academic exchanges as well as joint research programmes.

    Inter-institutional linkages and the formation of city-based R&D clusters need a lot of push both in terms of funding and monitoring the spending. Also, the Govt’s proposal of setting up of national research foundation (NRF) is set to improve the research ecosystem in the country.

    Talking about the interest of the US, the American universities, whether big or small, are looking forward to partnering with India to build on the 21st-century skills in common areas of interest like AI, ML, cybersecurity, data science, healthcare, biotechnology, climate change, sustainability, and agriculture.

    Integrated learning should be the top priority and funds must flow in the right direction. Regulations for embedding internships in general education are said to have been set into motion, but results are yet to be seen. With collaborations, students can have the benefit of doing internships in the US online while studying in India only.

    Last year, the implementation of NEP 2021 did not see any budget allocation. Perhaps the country missed an opportunity to implement the policy effectively, and we lost on time. As the budget was not allocated, improvement in the infrastructure could not progress.

    The budget 2022 must support educational institutions in both the public and private sectors in their efforts to build the necessary infrastructure. Also, funding the costs of extra training and other skill development courses is pertinent, especially in the current times where students are worried about their career and future.

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