For the first time in several years, Union budget has talked about improving India's research output and improving teachers' training as issues that require attention. The new initiative called RISE – Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education – announced in the budget, has been allocated a total investment of Rs 1,00,000 crore in the next four years. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the new initiative is to step up investments in research related infrastructure in premier educational institutions.
"For funding this initiative, the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) would be suitably prepared both by infusing additional equity and by amending the current modalities for HEFA funding," Jaitley said.
In order to boost the higher education system for meeting the requirements of 'New India – 2022', a comprehensive plan has been made for upgradation of the research infrastructure and the academic/teaching systems.
This would include: Making 20 World Class Institutions (IoE) fully operational; Building robust research eco system – linkages between labs and building best labs in the World to support high-end research; providing world class infrastructure for Teaching in the CFIs and Completion of construction of 28 new institutions started since 2014.
"With an overall increase of 20.31 per cent in the 2018 budget for education, the sentiment towards the increase of quality of education by training the teachers and moving from the blackboard to the digital board, that is towards a digitised environment in education is a good call by the government. Treating education holistically up to Grade 12 is a brilliant decision and will ensure that the future generations receive additional guaranteed schooling, that will do justice to their Right to Education,” said Husein Dohadwalla, Academic Director of International Programs, Middle, Secondary and High School, D.Y. Patil International Schools.
Some experts feel that it is a well-balanced budget with a focus on addressing the fundamental needs of education in India. In his Budget speech, Jaitley also purposed to set up two new full-fledged Schools of Planning and Architecture along with 18 new Schools of Planning and Architecture in IITs and NITs.
"The budget rightly focuses on movement from traditional blackboards to digital boards which offer enhanced learning experience to students. We are confident that the promotion of digital platforms and use of technology will increase reach and ensure superior outcomes. The government understands the need for quality of education and setting up of higher education finance agency, integrated B.Ed programme and revitalizing infrastructure and systems' in Education by 2022 with Rs 1 lakh crore in next 4 years, steps in right direction. Furthermore, significant budgetary allocation towards improving education infrastructure in the country augurs well for learners,” said Harish Doraiswamy, Vice President – Qualifications, Schools & Vocational, Pearson India.