Feb 01, 2017 03:44 PM IST IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Budget 2017: Focus on education through investments to benefit students

Finance Minister has increased investments for the development of youth.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced ‘Youth’ as the focus area for his budget for the FY2017-2018. A slew of announcement indicating higher investments benefitting younger population of India in the sector such as education and skill developed should be a big positive aspect of this budget.

Quality education remained the pillar of the proposed policy in Budget 2017. Finance Minister announced, “We propose to leverage information technology and launch SWAYAM platform with at least 350 online courses. This would enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty; access high quality reading resources; participate in discussion forums; take tests and earn academic grades. Access to SWAYAM would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.”

A National Testing Agency (NTA) is proposed in Budget 2017 to ensure smooth conduct of entrance examination. This will let the premier institutions to focus on academic work and the administrative responsibilities will be managed professionally by NTA.

Among other initiatives, the Finance Minister declared that Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) will be extended to more than 600 districts across the country from extant 60. Also 100 India International Skills Centres will be established across the country. These Centres would offer advanced training and also courses in foreign languages.

In 2017-18, it was also proposed to launch the Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion programme (SANKALP) at a cost of Rs 4,000 crores. SANKALP will provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth.
Two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences will be set up in the States of Jharkhand and Gujarat. Though the Finance Minister did not offer enhanced tax sops for education loans, this budget has promised to spend for the betterment of students.
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