Editorial Team

Digital continues to be the watchword of education. From setting up a digital university to launching the Digital DESH e-portal, the second paperless budget has given a lot of importance to the digital initiative in education. Did Union Budget 2022 meet the expectations of the education sector? Let us have a quick look at the education experts’ reactions and find out the answer for that.

 

Dr. Dishan Kamdar, Vice-Chancellor, FLAME University

The decision to establish the digital university is a disruptive and futuristic decision that will benefit a large number of students even from the remotest part of the country by making world-class education accessible. This will surely give wings to the dreams of deserving students and meet the goal of providing high-quality education to all students across the country.

The plan to increase the ‘One Class One TV Channel’ from 12 to 200 TV Channels in all States in India will enable students to learn through radio and DTH channels thereby overcoming the problem of internet connectivity. The two decisions truly reflect the Government’s aims to leverage technology advancements and use them as tools to meet the educational aspirations of a large number of students in the country. They have set an example that is worthy of being emulated by others.

Nitish Jain, President, S P Jain School of Global Management

From the standpoint of higher education, the budget is headed in the correct path by focusing on improving the digital infrastructure in the country. Moving ahead, the execution, and how quickly these things move will be the most important factors to watch. Education is what propels the economy and the country forward, and I am confident that Budget 2022 will go a long way toward ensuring that education remains at the top of our country’s priorities.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, Provost, HSNC University

Industry lauds & welcomes the thrust to the digital ecosystem while focussing on building and upgrading the digital infrastructure for quality education. Setting up of digital universities will enhance the availability of education to the rural students following the hub and spoke model. With easy access to education in regional language, every student will get an opportunity to empower and equip themselves. Moreover, measures for quality e-content appear promising to educate teachers effectively for better e-teaching outcomes. Besides, there is a surge in the scope of personalized learning, especially in the digital ecosystem. The budget also puts required emphasis on skilling which makes an individual employable and sustainable. The skilling courses will not just encourage learners to apply critical thinking and creativity but also make them industry-ready, which is evidence of shaping the youth of India for a better future.

Dr. Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management, Shahani group and CEO, Ask.Careers

Considering the experience of e-learning in the pandemic, it is good that the government is seriously looking at integrating online technology to make our education system more inclusive for the less-resourced segments of the population. However, it is important to realise that online technology is no substitute for good quality brick & mortar schools & colleges, as many students have fallen behind over the last 2 years of the lockdown. So, it would have been important for the government to have focussed on efforts to train more teachers & support the building of more institutions. Another good initiative is the increased focus on skilling and upskilling to improve employability among our youth. Along with the new skill-oriented National Higher Qualification Framework being issued by the UGC, I see better integration between the academic & vocational streams of education. Allowing foreign university campuses to set up in Gujarat’s GIFT city will hopefully be an interesting pilot initiative that could encourage foreign universities to expand into other Indian states. A couple of initiatives that were not addressed was the reduction of GST rates for Edtech services & allowing private for-profit investment into India’s schools & colleges, which could have greatly helped expand quality education across India.

Dr. Tristha Ramamurthy, Founder & Managing Director, Ekya Schools, and Provost, CMR University

The state of education is often a healthy predictor of the country’s overall development and well-being. Quality education holds the key to inclusive growth and education in India needs to be recognized as an equalizer especially in the context of the pandemic. This year’s budget will bring a revolutionary change to the education sector as it can support the capacity building of teachers and school leaders across the country. Investing in teacher education through the training of teacher educators and implementation of robust institutions for teacher training and education will create a high-quality education system in the country. Education is also a crucial instrument that can bridge the socio-economic divide in our country. The establishment of a Digital University and over 200 channels covering multiple regional languages under the ‘One class, one TV channel’ program are two very innovative and path-breaking initiatives that will enable students across the nation to access quality education through the hub and spoke model. The development of quality e-content to empower and equip teachers with digital tools for teaching and facilitating in order to achieve better learning outcomes is a welcome measure. Taking into account the challenges of the online learning arrangements, the government’s decision to enhance digital learning with E -VIDYA will be a boost to the education sector.

Dr Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International Education Group

Right from the Finance Minister’s use of a Tablet to propose the budget explained that India is on the path of a digital revolution in the near future. As expected the government has well thought to reduce the digital learning gap between the urban and rural by introducing ‘1-Class-1-TV channel” covering multiple regional languages, which will not only counter the Learning losses but will bridge the learning gap. The PM’s e-Vidya will be further expanded from 12 to 200 channels to facilitate supplementary learning.

For the implementation of NEP 2020 great stress is implied on shifting the focus on Upskilling, therefore the launch of Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling and reskilling will be the key to newer dynamics. To develop the 21st century skills of critical thinking amongst students setting up of virtual labs and skilling e-labs will be valuable. To enable quality learning for each child quality e-content will be made through various means. Teachers will be trained to use better e-teaching outcomes and enhancement of learning experiences. Huge focus was laid on e-services in rural areas, it is proposed that all the villages will be laid with optical fibres by 2025, and villages will be at par with the urban areas.

Setting up of Digital University is a great step towards accessibility of quality world class education for all. As per the NEP 2020, Foreign Universities will be set up and Gujarat to set up the model Foreign University to make education accessible for all.

An increase in the overall financial allocation for the education sector for 2022-23 to Rs 1.04 lakh crore from Rs 93,224 crore (Budget estimate) in 2021-22 in view of Samagra Shiksha is certainly a welcome move. It’s a great education budget; belling the cat at the right time though the implementation is to be thought upon. We are looking forward to a quick implementation of the proposals.

Dr. Pradeep K. Sinha, Director, IIIT Naya Raipur

Due to the pandemic, the world has realized the important role that online education can play in augmenting conventional education system. This realization is also visible in Budget 2022. The increased focus on strengthening the IT infrastructure of the country is a step towards strengthening our online education system. Establishment of a Digital University to provide access to world class quality education is yet another step in this direction. One TV channel in every classroom and disseminating knowledge to the students of rural India in online mode will be possible through quality e-content and reliable IT infrastructure only, which is a focus area of the current budget. Emphasis on skilling programs for the youth shall help in generating easily employable manpower in future.

Prashant Jain, CEO, Oswaal Books

The vision of the Budget is welcoming not only to the current needs but also to the global demands of the future. While there is a clear emphasis on digital education and skilling programs which will boost the learning outcomes and methods of learning. But for students and teachers who have nearly lost 2 years of learning and patience respectively due to the pandemic may find the remedy a little delayed. One Class One TV Channel will expand the reach of education to the leisure of homes across the economical divide and centers of excellence will help focus on quality education than mere figures of literacy.
These are all novel initiatives. But most of them will not see the light of the day for years to come. Presently the government needs to ensure that the existing budget allocated to the School and higher education is done efficiently to overcome the crucial learning loss.

Dr. Sunil Shukla, Director General, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad

I am happy that the Union Budget for the financial year 2022-23 emphasises on key sectors such as education, health, infrastructure and MSMEs, thus focussing on growth and inclusive development. Announcements like a digital university for providing online education in multiple languages, digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood—the DESH-Stack e portal that aims at empowering citizens to skill, reskill or upskill through online training, setting up of 750 virtual labs in science and mathematics, and 75 skilling e-labs for simulated learning environment showcases the intent of the government towards further augmentations and developments the skilling ecosystem and the education domain.

I appreciate that Startups have been encouraged through various measures – extending tax benefits for a year, earmarking 25 per cent of defence R&D budget for the industry – the vision has rightly focussed on building an environ which fortifies innovation, enterprise, academia and inclusive welfare. Interlinking of Udyam, e-Shram, NCS and ASEEM portals, and the extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for one more year and expansion in its guarantee cover is further intended to formalise the economy and enhance entrepreneurial opportunities. All in all, I look forward to India gaining pace as an entrepreneurial nation.

Rohan Parikh, Managing Director, The Green Acres Academy

The Indian Government as shown by the budget and the incredible display at the Republic Day Parade has rightly assessed the need for technology in education. It is good to see us ready to leapfrog from industrial revolution inspired classrooms to real hybrid centers of learning.

The move to use television as a medium is interesting and will really depend on the quality of execution. The same applies to technology in education.

I hope to see continued government support in tech investment in schools. However, we need to be careful of using “tech for tech’s sake” vs simple and non-sexy technologies that really boost learning in the classroom.

Prof. Sadashivegowda, Principal, Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering

Digital universities are going to set up that is a great reform by government. Government planning to start more TV channels to provide education in all languages for Class 1 to 12 students is a very good initiative. The skilling programs are going to be useful for dropouts and the training that will be given to upskill the teachers are a welcome move. Academic institutes will be encouraged in R&D activities within the ambit of Defence budget which will enable us to provide R&D solutions to the defense needs. We were expecting more about implementation of NEP which has not been seen yet. Also the focus given to Agriculture Education is a very good initiative as we are agriculture driven economy and nation and majority of the population are in the occupation of Agriculture thus by emphasizing more on Agriculture education we would have sustainable development in agriculture sector leading to more employment.

New e-learning content delivery platforms which will be launched via the internet, TV and smartphones to help students in rural and semi-urban areas will be a game changer and localization of education is a path breaking initiative.

Dharmesh Kapasi, President, Shanti Educational Initiatives Limited (SEIL)

The Union finance minister presented a growth-oriented budget for the upcoming financial year. We are happy to see that the budget focused on encouraging digital education in the COVID-era, especially for rural India, which is the worst hit in the past two years. In fact, “digital” was the theme for all education initiatives in the speech, both for school and higher education. The expansion of the “One Class One TV Channel” programme under PMeVIDYA initiative from the existing 12 educational channels to 200 channels across India will provide significantly easier access to world-class quality education to the students.

The government’s plan to set up a digital university and focus on collaborations with the best institutions in the country is a great initiative. In line with our expectations, the thrust has been given on providing a platform to the digital teachers for developing competent content for imparting education virtually. Considering the impact of the pandemic on students and the education sector, it is an important decision to develop high-quality e-content that can be delivered through various modes and equip teachers so that they can use digital tools.

Prajodh Rajan, Co-founder and Group CEO, Lighthouse Learning

The much awaited Union Budget has delivered many positive developments for the education sector. The implementation of One Class One TV Channel program of PM eVIDYA to be expanded from 12 to 200 channels, should help mitigate the learning loss our children have endured during the past two years as schools remain closed. This will definitely support supplementary education in regional languages for students across classes 1 to 12. A boost in the digital infrastructure across the country is essential and the mention of the completion of 5G spectrum auction in 2022-2023 will certainly help enable education institutions to attain the much needed learning outcomes. The Digital DESH e-portal set to be launched will help the youth in skilling, upskilling and reskilling so that they are ably employed and can contribute to the country’s economic growth. We will soon be a super-energised and digitised economy!

Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera

The Union budget 2022 has laid much needed focus on the education sector. From assuring funds for R&D, innovation, and growth, to emphasizing the need for digitization, the Government has taken a practical and contemporary view to benefit masses across the spectrum of elementary, secondary, and higher education. The pandemic affected learning at numerous levels – from academic exposure to the medium of instruction to evaluation of the core course content and construct in some cases, education institutions, academicians, online platforms, and other key stakeholders have worked together in the past 2 years to innovate and offer solutions on the back of technology to keep the learning going. Enhancing e-content quality, launching a portal for upskilling, instituting digital universities, and easing operations of foreign universities will not only enhance a student / learner’s exposure but will seamlessly integrate offline and online modes of education to enhance learning outcomes. We congratulate the Indian Government for presenting a progressive and promising budget that furthers the cause of digitization, governances and learning and growth for all. We are confident that the year 2022-23 will be a turning point in the history of Indian education as we move towards building an inclusive, digitally empowered and technologically advanced education system for all.

Vamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-Founder, Vedantu

The COVID-induced gap in learning needs to be addressed on priority and EdTech platforms should continue to ensure that students receive uninterrupted learning in such challenging times. By providing students easy access to quality learning, this year’s budget lays a clear emphasis to reduce the gap between students in remote areas and education. Initiatives such as the ‘One Class One TV Channel’ and the E-Vidya scheme is a welcome move that will drive impact at scale and bridge the language divide amongst students from small-town India. We believe that this budget rightly aligns with our vision of democratizing education by providing students access to high quality learning, improving learning outcomes and thereby contributing to a vibrant knowledge economy.

Akshay Munjal, Founder & CEO, Hero Vired

We welcome the government’s thrust towards upskilling the youth and digitization in the Union Budget FY 23 announced today. New initiatives such as digital DESH e-portal for skilling, the expansion of PM’s eVIDYA scheme, and a digital university are not only innovative but also an encouraging boost to the education sector; and will provide students with equal opportunities across rural and urban regions.

While we were hoping for the rationalization of 18% GST in online education services and some tax rebate online learning programs, we are excited to see the government adopt a collaborative strategy that allows world-class universities to offer courses in financial services and technology free of Indian regulations in the GIFT city. Moreover, it is heartening to see that the Budget also included steps for the empowerment of teachers, enabling them to facilitate better learning outcomes. Finally, we are thrilled about the animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics (AVGC) Taskforce, as it has the potential to create immense employment opportunities for the youth.

Dr. Santanu Paul, CEO & MD, TalentSprint

A digital university will be established to provide access to students. Across the country, for world-class quality universal education with personalized learning experience at their doorsteps.This is the genesis of a new wave of higher education institutions. Digital-first, greenfield universities are going to play a major role in exponentially expanding access to high-quality, personalized, flexible degrees and diplomas. This would have a salutary effect on our youth population, particularly those who must continue to earn while they learn. We have seen open universities before, which have achieved reach and scale, but not necessarily delivered learner experience. Good digital universities will be able to solve for reach, scale, quality, and learner experience.

Certificate courses in urban planning with ‘India-specific knowledge’ to start soon, institutions given Rs 250 crore each – The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will be responsible for improving syllabi, quality, and access to urban planning courses

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned the launch of an e-portal for a digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood. Christened DESH STACK, the e-portal will aid in skilling, upskilling and reskilling.

The DESH STACK appears to be the latest reincarnation of Skill India, which has had moderate success in the past, partly because of the lack of quality training, and partly because of inadequate employment opportunities. However, DESH STACK reimagines this space as an online portal and ecosystem which can be a one-stop shop for job seekers and employers to add value to themselves and also each other. We hope this initiative will eventually solve the demand supply gap and do justice to India’s demographic dividend.

Students of Classes I to XII will soon have access to 200 TV channels where they will be provided supplementary education in regional languages as well. With most schools closed for more than two years due to the pandemic, the effect on government schools’ students, who mostly come underprivileged backgrounds, has been devastating. This has been referred to as India’s lost generation; students between the ages of 10-18 who are giving up on their education entirely because they and their families cannot afford the devices and connectivity needed to learn online. This initiative of supplemental education through regional language TV channels is a very welcome move, and we hope it will stem the exodus of students from the schooling system.

Nadira Hamid, CEO, Indo-Canadian Business Chamber

The intent of the Government is clear. Infrastructure and the digital economy is where growth and jobs will come from. Canada’s largest pension funds and investment firms have recently invested billions of dollars into investments within infrastructure, real estate and even start-ups in India. This budget opens up a plethora of opportunities for Canada and will propel the Indo-Canadian relationship to greater heights to achieve enhanced economic development. Foreign Universities, especially from Canada can for the first time operate in the country and concepts like Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGS) have found recognition. These are definitely bold and visionary statements. We welcome the budget which will see pronounced interaction between India and Canada.

Dr. Subhalaxmi Mohapatra, Associate Professor and Co-director, Centre for Urbanism and Cultural Economics, Anant National University

The Union Budget presented by honourable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has a focus on the growth trajectory of India and is a progressive budget. Among, other pointers, the budget laid emphasis on the increase of capital expenditure to drive growth and the repeated focus on “infrastructure” implies that the scope of professions related to all aspects of infrastructure are going to rise. The budget will boost the overall real estate sector with a continued priority on affordable housing. The emphasis on a paradigm change of the urban sector through the involvement of the stakeholders at multiple levels is a welcome step. At the same time, there was announcement of additional tax benefits given to the start-up economy. However, the only negative aspect may be the tax levied on digital assets and income from the same. The growth of digital modes of education was evident with the support announced for e-modes of education both at national and regional level and the proposed digital university. This could broaden the reach of quality education and foster inclusivity. Finally, the budget indicated to boost certain aspects of creative arts such as animation, gaming, and comics through education and skilling. This should come as a boon to the Indian creative community to compete with their global counterparts. All the points taken together, the budget indicates that the role of education in creative and design related disciplines are going to gain impetus in the coming years.

Pawas Tyagi, Co-Founder, edustoke

A clear emphasis on digital content development and delivery and overall efforts to digitize education is applauded as is the upgradation of Anganwadi. Coupled with 5G rollout – this budget should accelerate more accessible quality education in the country.

Rajiv Bansal, Director- Operations, Global Indian International School (GIIS), India

FM Nirmala Sitharaman talked about the impact of the pandemic on the education sector and highlighted the need to strengthen the education system by improving e-content quality, emphasising on teaching training, adopting innovative mediums of instruction, etc. to positively impact learning outcomes. The Union Budget 2022 highlighted the importance of adopting a progressive and inclusive approach by educational institutions across primary, secondary, and higher education. Announcements like eVidhya scheme and ‘One Class One TV Channel’ expands the learning horizon of the students and brings inclusivity as the regional languages are promoted equally. Adoption of technology and digitisation will help a student evolve into becoming a truly global citizen and will encourage lifetime of learning. Focus on reskilling and upskilling at a higher education level and launch of the Digital DESH e-portal will enhance vocational learning and job readiness, making students independent and result oriented. As a key member of the Indian education system, GIIS congratulates the Govt. for presenting a progressive and inclusive budget for the education sector. We are confident that digitisation and technology will help in building a more effective and rewarding education system in the years to come.

Sriram Subramanian Co-founder and CEO, Clever Harvey

We welcome the government’s move to cap the long-term capital gains surcharge at 15%. It will go a long way towards ensuring investor confidence not just in startups but in equity generally. Also, we appreciate the special focus on creative vocational fields like animation, graphics, and game design in this year’s budget. India has one of the largest talent pools for this, and this initiative will be instrumental in helping us move further up the value chain.

Given the battering and levels of disruption faced by the education system over the last three years, the emphasis given to mental health was another major highlight. It was, in my opinion, more important than ever, especially for students, and the budget does go a long way toward putting in place a mechanism to address it.

Furthermore, one area where the budget fell short of our expectations is the ongoing disparity in GST rates applied to physical and digital learning materials. I suppose the goal of the lower rate policy on physical learning materials was to promote education, and given that the majority of education consumption has shifted to the digital domain in recent years, we expect some sort of parity in the GST treatment between the two.

Ujjwal Singh, CEO and President, Infinity Learn

The Budget 2022-23 has an inclusive approach. We are pleased that the Government has recognized the importance of digital learning provided by the EdTech companies in India. The extension of the PM eVIDYA initiative 12 to 200 TV channels will give the segment the requisite boost. Further, the availability of regional language educational modules from Class 1 to 12 will enhance the literacy rates in India’s hinterlands, over and above the metro cities. This will serve as the driver of socio-economic change, enabled through technology. Education specifically has taken a new direction that has made technology-based learning, whether online or blended, indispensable for our education systems. Digital learning holds the potential to empower the country’s grassroots level population through democratised access to education, thereby facilitating continued learning sans infrastructural challenges, pan-India.

Amit Gainda, CEO, Avanse Financial Services

Union Budget 2022 focused on some of the progressive pillars, which are inclusive development, productivity enhancement, energy transition, and climate action, and thus, it can be rightly termed as the Booster Budget 2022. Diverse structured announcements have been made to provide an impetus to the growth of the economy.

We believe that some of the announcements have the potential to impact the overall education and the education financing sectors positively.

Providing necessary support to the education ecosystem was an integral part of the Union Budget 2022. In the last two years, school and college closures had a significant impact on learning. The proposal for creating a digital university, designed to impart lessons in all regional languages through a network of ‘hub and spoke’, and the launch of new e-learning content delivery platforms will accelerate the expansion of the ed-tech segment, thereby contributing to a surge in the education sector.

The announcements such as the alignment of the National Skill Qualification Framework with dynamic industry needs, the launch of DESH-Stack e-portal, promotion of Drone-As-A-Service (DrAAS), Battery Swapping Policy to improve efficiency in the EV ecosystem will contribute towards the introduction of several new skill sets that young learners and professionals can embrace to be future-ready. We, as an education-focused organization, are geared up to support the aspirants to acquire the necessary skills to contribute positively.

Prof. Pramod Kumar Jain, Director, IIT BHU (Varanasi)

“We welcome the move taken for the education sector in the budget 2022. As the pandemic had a large impact on the education sector, technology adoption showcases a positive move towards its development. Aiming to boost quality education in India, the government has announced developing a Digital University and catering towards e-content and e-Vidya initiatives. The government is also inclined to focus on supplementary education available in regional languages and telecasted in radio, TV, and digital platforms, hence targeting wider outreach of quality education in rural and village areas. Lastly, this big announcement is in sync with the National Education Policy giving the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, and planning both for school and higher education.”

Yuvraj Krishan Sharma, Co-Founder and CPO, KOMPANIONS

As the pandemic had a large impact on the education sector, this year budget was positively inclined in boosting and implementing technology adoption in the education sector. In the world of digitization, the government has significantly emphasized quality education across India. Developing a Digital University and announcing new initiatives e-content and e-Vidya will benefit both students and educators. Additionally, the government announced one class-one channel scheme, which will expand from 12 channels to 200 TV channels. This will enable all states to offer supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1 to 12 and telecasted in radio, TV, and digital platforms, targeting wider education outreach in rural and village areas. Overall, the budget 2022 is growth-oriented and have significant implication on the Edtech companies allowing them to enhance their technology which will further benefit students to recover from the learning loss caused by the closure of schools and colleges.

Muneer Ahmad, VP – Sales and Marketing, ViewSonic India

With experience in the technology and EdTech sectors, the expansion of digitization, investment in effective E-learning programmes, and the establishment of efficient SOPs for the same will be game-changers for the business. The implementation of a digital university, which is included in the budget for 2022, will encourage continuous youth upskilling, stimulating the growth of newer technology advances, entrepreneurship, and job prospects. Furthermore, with the promise of 5G technology in the following year, the IT sector is projected to experience lucrative offers in terms of both innovation and manufacturing potential. The budget appears to have struck a chord in the tech industry, and we hope to see a good impact as a result.”

Dr. Arun Singh, Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet

The budgetary allocation for education sector has witnessed substantial increase of 18% to Rs 1.04 trillion as compared to the revised estimates of FY22. However, it should be noted that the revised estimates for FY22 are 5.5% lower than the budgetary allocation made for FY22, indicating some unspent outlay. The proposals like establishment of 75 skilling e-labs, development of high-quality e-content and set up of a Digital University highlight the ‘Digital’ theme of education related initiatives. Further, the government has acknowledged the adverse impact of pandemic on children especially from government school and economically weaker sections. The expansion of PM eVidya to 200 TV channels will meet the need of supplementary teaching resources in regional languages, thereby helping to alleviate some of this adverse impact.

Sanjay Padode, President, Vijaybhoomi University

Union Budget 2022 and the other policy pronouncements by MHRD and UGC have laid a clear direction: “the government considers higher education as an important catalyst for inclusive development”. The sector has been not only allocated 12 percent more resources but also taken necessary steps to operationalize the National Education Policy (NEP). An example of the policy intent is the draft National Higher Educational Qualification Framework (NHEQF) which seeks to bring job readiness to constitutional values, theoretical knowledge to technical skills, higher education institutes across the country under a new framework to assess students on a range of learning outcomes.

As President of India’s first liberal professional university, I feel that the budget and higher education policy of our country is nudging the universities to graduate from degree-granting institutions to temples of holistic learning.

Rohan Prem Sagar, Joint Secretary, Dayanand Sagar Institutions

The tenth Union Budget has been presented by the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman today. The Union Budget focused on providing access to pupils, giving the pandemic-affected education sector an extra boost. The pandemic brought havoc on all. Learning took a serious hit. Establishing a digital university will indeed strengthen the digital ecosystem of the country. The need of the hour is to build a robust education delivery system. A hub-and-spoke model will not only guarantee quality education in vernacular languages but will also help in upskilling. More individuals from rural areas will be able to access quality education as a result of this initiative. These initiatives, if adopted, have the potential to reform the education sector. With the introduction of ‘one class-one TV channel’ online education will reach the remotest corners of the country. I am sure these initiatives will take the education sector of the country in a new direction.

Sumeet Mehta, Co-founder and CEO, LEAD

Overall, this has been a progressive budget as it accelerates the government’s efforts towards inclusive and sustainable development. As an educator, I welcome the emphasis on creating digital and free-to-air channels of education. However, at the same time, the budget appears to circumvent physical schooling. I sincerely hope that is not the case. While online learning was inevitable due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it would never be as effective as offline learning, which brings out the best in students in terms of learning outcome and performance. Online education can at best only play a supplementary role in education. I would have also loved to see a greater focus on improving the teaching and learning processes in our schools vis-a-vis infrastructure and tech-enabled curriculum. Going forward, I hope there will be policy changes in that direction.

Dr Maithili Tambe, CEO, The Academy School, Maharashtra

Two important points on education are worth highlighting in the Union Budget. First is the digital infrastructure: due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the whole education system had to shift online. Teaching every child was the biggest challenge any school could face. Through One Class, One Channel, it will become much easier to reach every child. Second is the upgradation of Anganwadis: they are usually taken as daycare centres, but it is a base for any education system. Equal importance should be given to early childhood education as well. That said, the implementation of these measures should be effective and time-bound.

Siddhartha Gupta, CEO, Mercer Mettl

Aligning Skill programs with Industry is very positive news. Covid has taken the wind out of the Skilling initiatives of GOI over the last 2 years and there was a need to promote continuous skilling avenues, sustainability, and employability. Another welcome move is to re-look the national skill qualification framework (NSQF). This will further improve the Skill levels of youth and their ability to get jobs. We are proud of our partnership with GOI on Digital Literacy. Budget speaks about empowering citizens to skill, reskill or upskill through online training. It will also provide API-based trusted skill credentials, payment, and discovery to find relevant jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. We have been working on Digital Credentials and would love to expand this to Skill credentials through Digital means as well and bridge the gap between Education and Industry. The launch of Digital University recognizes the role Tech would play in keeping education disruption less in the future. An announcement in this direction augurs well for the Ed Tech startups which have recognized this gap and are trying to innovate and transform the segment.

Ambrish Sinha, CEO, UNext Learning

A 11.85% increase in the Union Budget allocation to the education sector is a much-awaited announcement, especially in the post-pandemic era. The establishment of a digital university in a hub-and-spoke model in collaboration with the best public HEIs is very good news. This will not only provide students with access to world-class quality education but will help increase GER too. The introduction of multi-lingual e-content will also help boost online education across regions. The permission to allow foreign universities to offer courses in FinTech, Financial Management, and Science and Technology is also a positive step in improving the quality of education in our country. The emphasis on skilling, upskilling and reskilling of youth by launching the DESH-Stack e-portal will promote online training, and introduce API-based skill credentials, payment and discovery to find relevant jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. It will subsequently help bridge the skill gap in the job market.

The budget focused on making up for the loss of formal school education due to Covid. The Finance Minister announced the expansion of the ‘One Class One TV Channel’ of the PM e-Vidya programme to 200 channels to provide supplementary education to students in classes 1-12 in regional languages. It was stated today that the BharatNet project would be completed by 2025. This will enable high-speed broadband service to rural India and will directly boost online education. So, overall, a pragmatic budget for the education sector.

Rishabh Khanna, Cognitive Scientist, Co-founder, Suraasa

Accessibility to quality learning is a huge challenge for the country, especially in the digital mode of delivery. I think that the Digital University and ‘One Class One TV Channel’ are very thought through ideas to ensure that no children are left behind due to language, resource, or digital barriers. Skilling and Upskilling have been the talk of the EdTech town for the longest time (for all the right reasons) and it’s great to see the government working towards that too. The FM also talked about teachers being trained to be able to deliver quality learning outcomes to students. I think that is one of the most important components of the education system since a trained teacher has the potential to transform lives of many children and create impact at scale. I am excited to witness the implementation of proposed initiatives and how they impact education across the country.

Ruchir Arora, CEO & Co-Founder, CollegeDekho

The government’s continued focus on building a quality higher education ecosystem is encouraging. The reforms allowing foreign universities in India to offer courses free of domestic regulations and the introduction of a Digital University will help bring industry best practices enabling the students with better job opportunities. Also, Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) sectors are very popular with the younger generation and have great potential for employability. It’s great to see the government realise this and focus on building domestic capacity to serve both our markets and the global demand. This will further push the popularity of emerging technologies and business models among the youth fuelling our country’s vision of a Digital India.

Charu Noheria, Co-Founder & COO, Practically

The Union Budget is definitely a step ahead for the education sector laying emphasis on digitalization. From announcing “One Class, One TV” programme, to focusing on finding innovative ways to creating a simulated learning environment, we as a nation are headed in the right direction. Additionally, creating high quality e-content and introducing Digital Universities will definitely see this sector scale to new heights.

Sunil Dahiya, Executive VP, Wadhwani Opportunity, Wadhwani Foundation

Productivity enhancement and skilling are two peas in a pod. The Government’s decision to focus on skilling, reskilling, and upskilling, with an emphasis on online training and monitoring through API based skill credentials will ensure that the talent pool in India stands par with the current industry trends. This will most certainly raise the bar for Indian talent across the world, hence reducing unemployment and helping achieve the goal of reaching 60 lakh jobs in the next 5 years. It is also thrilling to know that India will now have a Digital University. Through this, the entrepreneurial education and skill development initiatives by India will be globally identified and will help in attracting investment and talent acquisition opportunities.

Nishant Agarwal, Founder, Proctur

The Union Budget for 2022 appears to be optimistic for overall growth and rehabilitation of the economy, which has been harmed by the pandemic that has affected the entire world for the last two years. We have all witnessed the pandemic’s devastation of the education sector, and as a result of the forced closure of schools, our children, particularly those in rural areas or from other weaker sections, have lost nearly two years of formal education. Realising the importance of education, the new budget comprises the PM eVIDYA’s ‘one class-one TV channel’ programme, which is a great initiative and will be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels, in consideration of the necessity to impart supplementary teaching and develop a robust system for education delivery. As a result, all states will provide extra education in regional languages to students in grades 1 to 12.

Around 750 virtual laboratories in science and mathematics, as well as 75 skilling e-labs for the simulated learning environment, will be built in vocational courses to improve critical thinking skills and provide room for creativity, according to the new budget, which is a great initiative that will help our budding talents to enhance their skills.

We live in a digital world, and digitalisation has become the new normal. The new budget emphasises the development of high-quality E-content in all spoken languages for transmission via the internet, mobile phones, television, and radio via Digital Teachers or platforms. Another great point that the new budget includes is empowering and equipping teachers with digital teaching tools and supporting higher learning outcomes. It will be a competitive process for producing high-quality E-content by teachers.

Vinay Sharma, CEO & Director – Convergia (S Chand Publishers)

Budget really builds on the digital transition in education and takes measures to strengthen and broad base it. One key initiative is the creation of high-quality content which can be delivered through multiple means like mobile, cloud, TV etc. along with professional development of teachers to equip them in using digital tools and pedagogies. This will help towards improving the quality of learning outcomes.

Another significant initiative is a creation of a digital university which will deliver quality education to students across the country using remote delivery. This can help in bridging the skilling and knowledge gap because of limited physical infrastructures like universities and colleges.

Balasundaram Athreya, Business Head, Manipal MedAce & Sr. VP, Manipal Global Education Services

Overall, this year’s budget appears to be forward-looking, building on ongoing efforts to aid in implementing the National Education Policy. The vision of Budget 2022 for the Education sector’s modern outlook and approach will open opportunities towards reinvigorating digital empowerment and paving a roadmap for India’s advancement. It is reassuring to see that the Digital University’s ‘hub and spoke’ model intends to deliver classes in all regional languages; it is a commendable step towards strengthening digital infrastructure and training and is key to achieving real progress in the education sector.

We have come a long way to ensure equal access to education for all. However, given the pandemic, we risk losing this momentum and progress. We applaud measures proposed in this year’s budget, such as the Digital DESH e-portal, Centers of Excellence that would assist in Urban Sector Development, and skilling programmes and collaborations, hoping to strengthen our education system.

Dr. Atul Nischal, Founder – Director, International Council for School Leadership (ICSL)

I am delighted that teacher training has become an investment priority in addition to building the educational e-infrastructure by developing quality content and creating channels for mass access. I whole heartedly welcome the government’s commitment to digital learning as a solution to mend the pandemic-induced losses as well as achieve the goals of the NEP 2020.

There are close to 1 crore school teachers in India who need to be supported with a minimum of 50 hours of quality professional development every year. Without the support of e-Learning it is impossible to achieve this scale. As a next step, the government should create provisions for not-for-profits, such as International Council for School Leadership, to play an active role in empowering and enabling teachers in India.

Mahalakshmi Satish, Director, Prodigy Education India

W​hat stands out to ​us​ is the boost to digital infrastructure across the nation through PPP mode – optic fibre networks, 5G spectrum​ and other​ services​ ​which can be a game changer in the level of internet penetration across tier 3 cities and towns – giving ​e​dtech the necessary boost in access and affordability.​ Also, ​with PPP, chances are that the private component of the partnerships can help speed up the completion rate of these projects​.”

Archana Surana, Founder and Director, Arch College of Design and Business

It is a progressive and forward looking budget as the Finance Minister made announcements for all the major sectors to pave the path of economic recovery and growth. Her recommendations to promote digitization in the education sector shows a futuristic approach towards teaching and learning to make world-class quality education available for all the students. Also skilling, upskilling and reskilling programmes will help boosting entrepreneurship in the youth of the country” by Archana Surana, Founder and Director, Arch College of Design and Business.

Dr. Jitin Chadha, Director, IIAD

The Union Budget for 2022-23 reworks traditional concepts of what education has meant in the past. The emphasis this year has been on e-learning by proposing to set up a digital university founded on a hub and spoke model. This will imply that learning is not affected despite the challenges that the coming times may bring with it. It will also enable the higher education landscape to keep up with the advancements in technology while offering students quality education that is characterized by a greater focus on collaborative work better suited for today’s globalised world. This year’s budget is progressive in it’s outlook and vision and bodes well for the future of both education and the youth of the country.

Ravi Panchanadan, MD & CEO Manipal, Global Education Services

The focus of the Union Budget 2022-23 was to strike a fine balance between fiscal prudence and growth support. The provisions related to higher education aligns with the NEP, underlining the need to create an autonomous NETF for the free exchange of ideas on technology and its use to enhance learning, planning, administration, and assessments.

The expectations from this year’s budget were to revive investments and boost the employability market. The reorientation of all skilling programs to align with the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) and focus on new-age courses across infrastructure, finance and technology will help address current industry needs.

Building on the learnings from the pandemic, the revival of syllabi in agricultural universities and support for developing the agri-tech universities is welcome. There is also a focus on clean energy and solutions enabling positive climate actions.

The budget has called for a richer embrace of digital in our lives – 75 digital banking units across 75 districts, Digital Rupee and creating 60 lakh jobs in the next five years. This calls for proactive investments in developing industry-linked skill academies and closer integration between the industry & academia. We will also need to understand how academia will partner with Defence on R&D.

Focus on digital education development, training & infrastructure is vital, and therefore it is good to note the budget has addressed some of these in part. Initiatives to upskill teachers to develop quality e-content and investments in investments in digital assets, tools and techniques will boost success in this endeavour. The idea of a full-fledged Digital University with international quality education is an interesting initiative.

Special attention on digital connectivity. – thrust on implementing 5G technology and the optical fibre network will ensure seamless and widespread outreach to learners across rural and urban parts of India.

Mridul Ranjan Sahu, Co founder, CuriousJr

We welcome the budget wholeheartedly that was presented by our Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. We wanted a growth-oriented budget for the education sector after the post-pandemic hit. The emphasis on the vernacular language through mobile devices is what we were looking for, as that was one of our main mottos to teach and cater to the students for a better India. The goal of personalized learning and education is also our motto. Implementing Digital University in the upcoming year will actually help the students gain personalized learning and development. After the pandemic hit, the education sectors and the EdTech platforms were in need of these tools so that the nation’s children would not miss any bit of education.

As an Ed-tech startup, we always wanted and believed in digital learning and digital tutoring, and we are happy to cater to this industry and serve the same purpose as one of the education budget’s key mottos presented. This is by far the biggest provision for education in Budget 2022.

One class, one TV channel’ program of PM eVIDYA will be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels. This will enable all states to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1 to 12 which will help the students from rural India to learn and grow.

Divanshi Gupta, Founder & CEO, Ucanji

With the country witnessing the Omicron coronavirus wave, the government has taken crucial steps to bridge the glaring gap to counter the loss of learning. The budget focused on driving digital learning to skill, upskill, and reskill students in rural and semi-urban areas via eVidhya. We are delighted that the government has given equal importance to skill learning. Further, skill learning will open the doors to earn a livelihood.

Amitabh Jhingan, Partner, EY Parthenon Education Strategy Practice and EY India Education Leader

There could not be a better time to build a state of the art digital university for Bharat and rapidly accelerate the democratisation of high quality university and professional education that the youth of our country would receive. Expanding access to digital learning tools as students look to get back to school after almost 2 years is another laudable initiative as is the announcement to leverage agricultural universities to modernise agriculture in India and enhance the productivity and innovation in the sector. These are welcome initiatives and should be supplemented by a robust but practical policy and regulatory framework around online and digital learning in India.

Adi Rishabh Jain, Vice President, Swarrnim Startup & Innovation University

The Budget 2022 presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been progressive and digitally inclusive by making ‘Digital India’ a reality in all sectors. The budget for this year anticipates change, a new beginning, and new opportunities in 2022. Given the ongoing pandemic and globalization trajectory, the ‘Digital University’ initiative would undoubtedly accelerate educational transformation. However, it would be prudent to consider challenges to this transformation, such as enabling students to transition from being entirely offline to online. The launch of the Digital DESH e-portal and the re-orientation of skilling programs for our youth will increase efficiency and provide career opportunities. A revamped agricultural syllabus addressing the demands of natural, zero-budget, and modern organic farming would increase youth enrollment and their interest in alternative and contemporary agriculture techniques. We will implement this in our Bachelor’s program in Agriculture. For a university like ours that is focused on startups, a dedicated TV channel program as part of digital inclusion will provide students with quick access to the latest developments in their fields of interest. A dedicated fund for incubating startups would have been a great move, although Tax incentives for startups incorporated until March 31, 2023 comes as a relief. Creating an automous National Education Technology Forum (NETF) will give a boast for free exchange of ideas for advance learning and assesment in higher education, last but not the least, the supplementary education to compensate for the loss of last 2 years will enable students to bridge the knowledge based gap, due to unplaned closure of schools and colleges.

Vinay Kumar Singh, Executive Director and CEO, Thomson Digital (India)

The Union Budget 2022 for Education indicates that good governance is the focus for building GDP growth over the next 25 years. Digital DESH, Digital University project, One-Class-One channel through PM eVidya for supplementary education in regional languages for rural development, and fiber optic connectivity for last-mile digital reach in villages are laudable moves. Designating 5 Centers of Excellence will ensure funds for the growth of institutions. The most important aspect according to me is the focus on digital learning to universalize quality education. In a post-pandemic world, this is the need of the hour. Overall, I find the budget to be forward-looking that builds upon past work and enabling structures that will help in the execution of the new education policy.

Vaibhav Gupta, Marketing and Alliance Head, iSchoolConnect Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

The education budget presented by the Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rightly acknowledges the need for upskilling and opening more conduits for digital learning, both in schools and higher education. With the pandemic further distancing the marginalized students from education, the decision to expand the One Class One TV Channel’ program of the PM evidya from 12 to 200 TV channels is undoubtedly a move to make education accessible to all. The gaps in education, especially for the underprivileged students, are unfathomable, as these students have lost almost two years of formal education. Thus, supplementary initiatives to provide extensive learning resources in regional language and the effort to develop high-quality e-content that can be disseminated through various channels will enable students in the rural areas.

Digitization of education has been given a significant thrust in this budget. Be it the promise to set up a Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, reskilling, and upskilling the country’s youth or setting up the Digital University, we laud the government’s resolve to ensure learning opportunities for all,” says Vaibhav Gupta, Marketing and Alliance Head, iSchoolConnect Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Harender Kumar Sharma – Principal, TDI International School, Kundli

The Budget emphasized the education sector as the FM increased the overall financial allocation for the sector.

The focus is on digital learning modes to reverse learning losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic; students will also benefit from the expansion of the PM e-VIDYA initiative and the proposal to launch a “digital university” with the development of e-content in all Indian languages. We thank the Government for assessing the situation and timely taking steps regarding digital media; the step is to control the loss due to lack of physical classes and the need to have a robust digital infrastructure for effective dissemination of education.

RCM Reddy, MD & CEO, Schoolnet India Ltd

The government’s enhanced focus on education in this year’s Union Budget signals a welcome shift in policy priorities, backed by a substantial increase of almost 12% in allocations from last year. This is an acknowledgement of the large-scale impact of the pandemic on schools. A focus on digital learning, as well as the provision of enhanced learning aids through the PM e-Vidya scheme, will give a new impetus to strengthening the school education system. Schoolnet believes that this can be translated into positive impact on the ground by following an ecosystem approach which includes creating adequate digital infrastructure in schools, improved teacher training, and making available world-class pedagogical aids for those in the middle and bottom of the pyramid to enhance learning outcomes. Affordable Private Schools, which cater to nearly half the schoolgoing population, also need to be included in the scope of activities to achieve meaningful outcomes. I welcome the announcements for the education sector, which are aligned with Schoolnet’s vision of providing all students, particularly in the middle and bottom of the pyramid, with equal access to world class education.

Vivek Prakash, Co-founder and CEO Codingal

Education has been among the worst hit sectors by the pandemic and we support the government’s vision of promoting an inclusive education ecosystem through initiatives under eVidya. Emphasis on digitalisation in the learning system with quality e-content across all Indian languages will truly democratise learning and reach to the nooks and corners of the country.We hope India’s edtech players will be able to contribute meaningfully in helping India reach its digital education vision.

Divya Jain, Director & Founder, The Class of One

The Union Budget announcement gave a cursory look to the education sector for primary and secondary levels. However, announcement of launching Digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood is quite a positive move for the educational institutions offering higher education. Startups like us are relieved to hear that in terms of tax relief, an extension of the period of incorporation by one year until March 31, 2023 is given. Expansion plan for One class, one TV channel’ program of PM eVIDYA from 12 to 200 TV channels promotes inclusion of students from all backgrounds, and ensures lack of digital devices does not come as a hurdle for cognitive development of the students.

Vivek Jain, Chief Business Officer – Shiksha.com, Naukri FastForward

This year’s Union Budget increment in the funds compared to the previous year is a good sign. The Digital University is a great initiative, especially, in this pandemic situation as there is a lot of uncertainty around it. 200 channels from 12, covering multiple regional languages under the one class – one channel program will also boost coverage of education in the remote sectors with a minimal cost.

Siddharth Chaturvedi, Director, AISECT Group

The Union Budget 2022-23) is forward-looking with its focus on augmenting key areas of development. As we work on our mission ofproviding skill-based education, the Government of India’s focus in this areawill bolster skilling and pave way for creating better opportunities for a vast pool of untapped talent in Semi-urban and rural India. The policy framework will give an impetus to online education, making it accessible to all. As an organization, we strive to promote education in regional languages to provide equal opportunities in a diverse nation like India. The expansion of One class, one TV channel program will play a pivotal role in realizing the potential of providing education in regional languages. With these futuristic measures, we aim to chart greater heights in the education and skilling space.

Vaibhav Singh, Co-founder, Leap Scholar

The 2022 budget is promising for the education sector in promoting digital learning. Initiatives announced like the PM e-Vidya programme and setting up of a digital university will strengthen the broader vision – accessibility of education for all. The proposal to roll out e-passports is a welcoming gesture as it will enable a seamless experience for the travelling population, especially the large section of students flying abroad for their studies. Extended tax benefits for startups announced in the budget will further boost the ecosystem and drive the economy’s growth.

Amit Agrawal, Founder and CEO, OckyPocky

Its an incredible hi five moment for India and edtech startups – with Union Budget 2022-23 which focuses heavily on empowering students and the youth through key educational and mental health reforms.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement around a Digital University to be set up in India is an encouraging step for the e-learning segment and a critical one towards democratizing online education in the country. The highly beneficial hub-and-spokes model to be implemented by the Digital University will give a boost to several public universities and may provide a fillip to domestic online learning platforms.

It is also heartening to see the government providing supplementary education to children to make up for the loss of formal education due to COVID with the 1-Class-1-TV-Channel approach.

Whats however missed is any focus on early childhood education. Finally, taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19 on public mental health, the budget has allocated funds towards a national tele-mental health program for mental health counselling, a move much needed for everyone, including students who have been physically deprived of schools, peers, teachers, and friends for over 2 years now.

Overall, we see a positive shift in industry trends on the back of today’s announcements.

Varun Chopra, Co- Founder and CEO, Eduvanz

The unprecedented times during the past year led to online gateways becoming a channel to take brands, institutions, universities, products and businesses to a wider audience faster than ever before. However, lack of resources left innumerous children at a loss. The introduction of digital universities and High quality e-learning content platforms in multiple languages now, is a good initiative by the government to make quality education accessible to all. Further, the introduction of Desh E-Portal is yet another great initiative to provide more skilling and upskilling opportunities to our youth, in turn helping them with better employment opportunities in the future.

India is a young country having produced 40 unicorns so far, with a youth which has entrepreneurial aptitude in this digital economy. With startups budding more than ever before, announcing an extension for tax exemption to them for yet another year will help us in encouraging them further, giving them more liquidity to grow.

Abhishek Gupta, CEO and Founder, High School Moms and INACE

The government needed to invest heavily in skill-based education. More emphasis could have been placed on policies focusing on a longer-term impact in the education sector in order to bridge the learning gap faced by students during the pandemic. We have the largest population which will soon be employable, but our educational infrastructure is of poor quality. The promise of a digital university is a plus. However, in order to achieve digital inclusion, all stakeholders must be brought together on the same platform.

Dr. Subhashish Gangopadhyay, Dean, UPES School of Liberal Studies

The budget speech focussed a lot on the creation of public digital infrastructure. Indeed, India is moving fast towards a more digitalised economy. The youth are, and will be, leading this transformation in the years to come. Universities need to take the cue and prepare appropriate curricula and environments where students can learn the skills — both soft and hard — necessary in a digitalised society.

Arjun Gupta, Founder, Courseplay

The 2022 Budget saw many missed expectations for SMEs and Start-ups. As one of the fastest growing contributors to GDP, the SaaS sector should be promoted more by the central government. Share allocation process for start-ups to be simplified. Low cost tech education in Tier 3 and smaller towns is a huge must, as supply of skilled tech workers is at an all time low compared to demand. Getting government contracts for tech start-ups is still very complicated and should be made easier. Labour Law reforms for tech companies would be appreciated too. The govt needs to stand behind Indian SaaS companies to make India the no. 1 SaaS exporter in the world. Hopefully we will see some of this in next year’s budget.

Sumesh Nair, Co-founder & CEO, Board Infinity

The concept of digital university is a great move by the government. It increases access to education and gross enrolment ratio. The usual trend of flocking to cities/one specific location for all kinds of education needs to change and can, to some extent, be reversed with this move, if implemented properly. However, the challenges at hand is the quality of education that can be imparted via such medium. If partnerships can be built with best practices where established universities, government bodies and individuals contribute, then this model can be implemented well.

Desh stack e portal can be a game changer in the skilling and training landscape. There are very few portals that are able to solve end to end needs for a customer who wants to get skilled. Desh can hope to solve issues in discovery, skilling and employment niche. One can integrate Desh stack over other initiatives of skilling like National Apprentice Training Schemes, and other NSDC , NASSCOM initiatives as well.

Ankit Arora, Founding Director, Saarthi Education

The Education budget for 2022 seems to be exciting. The provision of digital education opportunities to children from Grade 1 to 12 through the One class one TV channels and senior students through the digital university are definitely innovative ways to curb the learning gap set in due to the pandemic. However, just providing digital content, even if it is high quality does not ensure quality learning. This will have to be complemented with digital teaching practices that can be adopted by teachers and parents throughout the country. It would have been great to see some budget allocation focused on the re-opening of schools. As schools reopen after a long period, 600+ days in some states – the local and state governments will need budget and resources to put effective SOPs in place to ensure schools can be a safe place for learning.

Anand Achyut, CEO and Founder, Wonderslate

We welcome the announcements made by the Honourable Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2022-23. There is a strict need to mitigate the loss caused by the pandemic and this can be only made possible by building a robust digital infrastructure for education. The decision to expand the benefits of the PM e-VIDYA initiative is a laudable step and will make online education accessible and available for all. The proposal of launching a digital university for a better digital learning experience with a hub and spoke model will do wonders to make syllabus-based tech education easy, convenient and hassle-free. This will also provide personalised, result-oriented, skill-based learning to students to make them job-ready. Additionally, the proposal of making e-content available in regional languages will be a big support in making online learning easy for students in remote or rural areas. The scaling up of one class-one channel to 200 channels will ensure students get supplementary education in their local languages and this is definitely an encouraging step especially for the underprivileged children. There is a need to bridge the digital divide in the country and it is great to see the Government making efforts for this.

Preethi Vickram, Founder, Tapas Education

Initiatives such as setting up of the Digital University, expanding from 12 to 200 channels and giving impetus to content in regional languages are all very welcome and shows a progressive thinking for further disruptions that the pandemic may cause. While the overall spend has increased, it appears to be more towards higher education and school education is still left wanting more. The NEP 2020 has clearly emphasised the importance of early years education. Budget 2022 has allocated funds towards development of 2 lakh Anganwadis to promote ‘Nari Shakti’ and hopefully this will be utilised to create better learning programs for the 0-6 years as well.Overall, the allocation towards the education sector seems to be driven by investment in technology that will hopefully translate into better reach and wider implementation of the NEP vision.

Ashwani Awasthi, Managing Director, RICS School of Built Environment

I strongly applaud the finance minister’s budget announcement today. It’s a budget that prioritises growth. The Union Budget prioritised student access, delivering a boost to the pandemic-affected education sector. It was recommended that the current PM eVidya Scheme be expanded, and that a Digital University be established. One TV channel for one class to compensate for the loss of learning caused by the pandemic, the PM eVidya Scheme will be expanded from 12 to 200 channels, allowing for supplemental learning in regional languages for students in grades 1 to 12. Programs for learning will be redirected. For the skilling, upskilling, and reskilling of our young, the Digital DESH e-portal will be launched. The announcement coincides with the National Education Policy, which emphasised the importance of establishing an autonomous NETF for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to improve learning, assessment, planning, administration, and other aspects of education at both the secondary and post-secondary level. 5 Centres of Excellence would be developed with Rs. 250 crore endowment fund each for Urban Planning courses to aid in the development of the urban sector. The Indian government’s budget for 2022-23 is aimed for greater urban planning in India’s megacities, with an emphasis on sustainable measures and public transportation. Therefore, industry ready professionals are the demand of the country and that will be fulfilled if students get the right skills which I feel will be delivered to students from this budget.

Manek Daruvala, Founder & Director, Triumphant Institute of Management Education (T.I.M.E.)

This year’s budget can be said to be a good attempt by the government to catch up with the winds of change. The announcement of strengthening of the digital education initiates by the government is the biggest takeaway this year.

The government has, in this arena, chosen to focus not only on the formal education system but also the vocational ones by announcing the set up of virtual labs in science and mathematics and skilling e-labs for vocational courses. This is a welcome move, as this can help spread the availability of vocational courses to the remotest corners of the country, thereby helping to push the employability of people who are hard pressed to find any meaningful and economical source of learning any vocation.

In hindsight, we may also, unfortunately, have the pandemic to thank for this. That is because, the dependency on the online mode for education for a good part of the last couple of years has, in a way, seems to have assured the government that this is a dependable mode of learning that needs investment in.
The announcement to start a digital university is also in keeping with the times. This can be a great far-sighted step to improve the reach of education, a huge step up from the days of open-universities. Setting up institutes for Urban Planning courses across the country in five places is another long overdue but much appreciated step. One can only hope that these bear fruit soon with no delays.

Changing the syllabus of agriculture universities, however, is a surprise announcement, coming in the budget. It is expected from the universities themselves to do this so that they are in-step with the times. That the government needs to step in to push them to modernise their syllabus could indicate a surprising lack of initiative on the part of the universities. One prays that this is not the case and that the government is possibly a step ahead of the universities due to a specific strategic vision it may have for the farming sector.
While the close to 30% increase in allocation to National Education Mission is laudable, the budget has not focused much on the deliverables of the NEP. We can only hope that the government has not missed sight of this worthy plan and makes sure that the necessary resources and support are allocated to it.

Rajesh Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO, Kalvi

The focus on digital learning in the Union Budget 2022-23 is the need of the hour and we thank the Honourable Finance Minister for taking positive steps in this direction. The pandemic has increased the need for making digital learning accessible for all to provide world-class education to students. The content delivery platforms via the internet, TV, and smartphones will greatly benefit students across the country. Digital learning also has the scope to enhance the academic performance of students if done right especially in the higher education space. There is a need to make education more industry relevant and students must be adept in the latest technology.

Ashwin Mittal, CMD and CEO, Course5 Intelligence Ltd.

India’s Hon. Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman’s futuristic growth friendly Union Budget rightly envisioned the roadmap for India entering Amrit Kaal, the 25 year long leadup to [email protected] Analytics is the key to successful implementation of the multi-modal PM GatiShakti master plan with its seven-engine focus for economic transformation and inclusive development for [email protected] FM highlighted that Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a sunrise opportunity while advocating promoting digital economy & fintech, technology enabled development; and we, at Course5 Intelligence, reiterate the importance of AI-led analytics and insights. The role of analytics is more pronounced post global pandemic accelerating digital adoption by companies globally as they seek to digitize their core business model to remain economically viable. We, at Course5 Intelligence have been working with Fortune 500 global giants and it is good to see that the Indian Government is now aligned to this progressive global thinking. As FM included Data Centres in the harmonized list of infrastructure, we re-emphasize the significance of Data and Analytics, which is expected to account for 13.9% of the estimated total digital spend (US$2.39 trillion) by 2024. The boost to startups will facilitate innovation required for Digital India. As the Government invites private participation in strengthening public infrastructure and seamless coordination between diverse pillars, we advocate the growing significance of AI-led analytics in Urban Planning. Clearly, the government is focusing on deep tech at an opportune time. Till now the focus has been on the application layer which provided solutions to problems and business opportunities. A focus on deep tech will only highlight the significant role data analytics and AI can play in providing that strategic depth to the digitalization of India. With our rich experience in AI-driven data analytics and insights, we at Course 5 Intelligence look forward to support the tasks ahead.

Pradeep Pillai, CEO & Co-Founder, OrangeSlates

The increased dependency on the internet and online education has left educators too in need of training that helps them conduct online classes. The Union budget 2022-23 has focused on teacher training for better outcomes. The coming year will prove to be one where our educators are better equipped to take on the changing education format and continue to upskill themselves to come at par with the new standards.

Ramya Venkataraman, founder & CEO of Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA) Pvt. Ltd.

This year’s Union Budget has proposed some big thrusts on education since it was one of the most impacted sectors in the Covid-19 pandemic, with schools remaining shut for over two years. The digital university announced in the budget can help students access great teachers from anywhere. This should be done in a public-private partnership mode for rapid implementation and supported by certified teachers from local communities, to provide direct inputs where needed. Such a hybrid ‘hub and spoke’ network can help impart world-class education to the most needy segments. The PM eVIDYA scheme’s ‘one class, one TV programme’ initiative is an interesting effort to deliver educational programming via radio and DTH channels to people without internet access. The quality of explanations and associated support for doubts will play a big role in making this successful. We are working on the implementation of this with a State Government and exploring mechanisms like missed calls, answering questions through SMS, etc. to make such programmes interactive and therefore impactful, added Ramya.

Sujatha Kumaraswamy, CEO, MeritTrac Services

“It is encouraging to see a host of initiatives being announced for the education and skilling sector. Setting up of global universities to offer finance and technology courses with minimal regulations will open up the Indian markets to leading universities and open up doors of collaboration with Indian universities. Focus on urban planning and reforming agricultural programmes is a much-needed step for skilling the large population of India. A hub-and-spoke digital university plan has come up at the right time and will go a long way in ensuring quality education in Indian languages across the country for personalised learning and upskilling. This will be well supported by training for teachers to make them digital-smart and facilitate better learning outcomes. This budget has addressed various supply-side and demand-side elements for quality education within the country and I look forward to swift and agile implementation of these initiatives.”

Bhavesh Goswami, Founder & CEO, CloudThat

While the education budget was cut by 6%, the government has begun to shift its priority to digital education. The idea of implementing Digital University has been a strategic move towards guiding the development of India’s education. While the exact details were very few, just mentioning a hub-and-spoke model with the best public universities being the hub. This does not directly acknowledge the contribution of the ed-tech sector or seek their expertise to help the government in this endeavour. It will be interesting to see if and how the government will leverage the budding ed-tech sector in increasing the access to digital education as well as making sure the quality of the education remains relevant to the needs of the modern job environment.

Aditya Mohan Jadhav, Professor of Finance, Area Chair – Accounting, Economics and Finance, T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), MAHE Manipal

The initiatives for the higher education sector, especially setting up of the digital university and allowing World-Class Universities to offer programs in the GIFT City are welcome. We hope that these initiatives are harbingers of the education sector opening up to world class universities.

Simran Lekhi, Founder, Kidstack

The Budget 2022 gives a further push to Entrepreneurs in India by extending the Tax Rebate for start-ups till March 2023. Unlike 2021 Budget which emphasized “vocal for local” Toys, this year lacked a dedicated policy for promoting domestic manufacturing.Creating a domestic task force to serve the global demand in the Gaming, Animation and Visual Effects Sector is another boost for the Toys & Gaming Industry.Apart from digitizing education, we also need to look at prioritizing play in our classrooms specially for younger children who have lost 2 formative years due to the pandemic.

Rajeev Tiwari, Co-founder at Stemrobo Technologies

Although what we had expected from the budget hasn’t been addressed but we should look on the positive side, One Tv One channel programme of PM eVIDYA the government is definitely somewhere trying to mitigate the learning losses which students had to face due to covid induced lockdowns and the content through regional languages would circumvent the language barrier, ensuring the knowledge has no limitations. What should be noted is that the govt did emphasize on the digital adoption through its E-content delivering mechanism, imparting knowledge through various mass media is something that govt should be applauded for. But it would have been great if the special attention had been on the training of teachers with adequate resources and the leveraging of technology should have been more emphasized, as education is one of the important pillars for the upliftment of the society. The budget did touch some important areas but what the real picture comes out on the ground would help us to get into the crux of the issue.

Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL)

“The Union Budget FY2022-23 is growth oriented and has put the much-needed impetus on digital education boosting the penetration of learning where online education is still not accessible. To effectively bridge the learning gap created due to the pandemic, efforts such as setting up of the digital university, providing high-quality e-content, expansion of ‘One class, one TV channel’ under the PM e-Vidya scheme, equipping teachers with digital tools, creating virtual labs, promoting critical thinking will not only improve learning outcomes but will also provide students access to world-class universal education with a personalized learning experience at their doorsteps.

By developing syllabus in different languages, focusing on skilling, reskilling and upskilling youth, the Government has demonstrated its commitment towards breaking the glass ceiling and encouraging education in regional languages. Collaboration between public universities and institutions will create a network of the hub-spoke models with competitive mechanisms building a resilient mechanism for education delivery.

The budget aptly addresses last-mile delivery reach with a strong focus on empowering teachers through digitization and the necessity to train students in sync with global standards. The 25-year vision will build an open, digital, connected and inclusive India.

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