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by Harish Thakkar.
Congratulations to the Finance Minister and his team for a forward looking, growth focused Budget. He has managed to not give in to populism or electoral pressures but also not resorted to myopic tactical measures but taking a strategic view for a growth–oriented road map for India.
One sector that has been in focus over the last several months is the Indian education sector. The need to skill development and employability has taken centre stage over the last few months. Education making it in the list of 9 pillars in the Union Budget is a testimony to the governments focus on the challenges faced by the education sector in enrollment, excellence and employability. The budgetary allocations, though inadequate are certainly a step in the right direction and one may see increased allocations in the coming years if the results are encouraging.
The budget focuses on skill development and entrepreneurship. An Allocation of Rs 1,700 crore for 1500 multi-skill development centres, target of giving skills to 1 crore youth in the next 3 years under the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojna and allocation of Rs 500 crore for promoting entrepreneurship among SC/ST are encouraging for the Indian Education sector. Creation of a Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) with initial fund of Rs 1,000 crore and an amount of Rs.1800 crores towards skill development will encourage the employment-oriented, vocational training sector. This is great news for school of investment banking and other finance and analytic institutions like Imarticus Learning.
The budget has managed to break away from “Pro-poor” or “Anti-rich” tag to a “Pro-India, Pro-Youth Budget”