Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on February 1, said that the government would allocate Rs 99,300 crore for the education sector, and Rs 3000 crore for skill development.
FM Sitharaman made the announcements while delivering the Union Budget 2020-21 in Parliament.
Speaking on the National Education Policy (NEP), the Finance Minister said that it will be announced soon, and dialogues have already been carried with states with the government after having received over two lakh suggestions on it. Sitharaman also acknowledged that the education sector needs greater finance to attract good teachers.
Sitharaman said that the government will take steps to attract external commercial borrowing (ECB) and foreign direct investments (FDI) to raise funds in the education sector.
Sitharaman said a total of 150 higher education institutes will start apprenticeships and the Urban Local Bodies have been instructed to provide internships opportunities for fresh engineers for a year. The Finance Minister said that the move was undertaken to help engineers learn on the job.
In a bid to help underprivileged students, Sitharaman said the government plans to introduce full-fledged online education programmes at the degree level.
The government also looks to introduce an INDSAT exam for scholarships to Asian and African students to push the ‘Study in India’ programme. A National Police University and National Forensic Science University are also proposed.
In a bid to deal with the shortage of doctors, the government has also proposed to attach medical colleges with district hospitals throught the Publ Private Partnership (PPP) model. Sitharaman also said that special bridge courses will be designed for teachers, nurses, para medical staff and caregivers.
In her speech the Finance Minister also said that the Centre's "Beti Bachao Beto Padhao" scheme has yielded tremendous results. She said that the gross enrollment ratio of girls at all levels of education across the country is higher than that for boys.
At the elementary level, she said the gross enrollment ratio for girls stood at 94.32 percent, while at the secondary level, enrollment ratio was at 81.32 percent, as against 78 percent for boys at the same level.
At the higher secondary level, ratio of enrollment for girls was 59.70 percent as opposed to 57.54 percent for boys.Sitharaman also announced that Rs 28,600 crore have been allocated for programmes for the development of women in FY21 under the current Budget.