Edtech sector seeks appropriate tax incentives and solid network infrastructure for education
The education industry has shifted swiftly in the last two years due to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, says Nishant Agarwal, the founder of Proctur. He highlighted that students and instructors turned to digital learning. “Although Budget 2021 was adequate in light of the digital revolution, Budget 2022 is predicted to be a more advanced and strong Budget with appropriate tax incentives, a solid network infrastructure, and strict data protection regulations.”
To address the increased demand for at-home learning, the edtech sector has adopted new technology and approaches. Agarwal says online classes were hampered by an inadequate internet connection, digital devices or computer services. “The edtech ecosystem anticipates that the government will make government services available to both applicants and edtech companies. The next budget is projected to place a greater emphasis on improving internet connectivity infrastructure across the country, promoting last-mile access, inexpensive 5G devices and most crucially, assisting edtech enterprises with robust data protection legislation.”
He believes progress in GST treatment is another essential expectation for Budget 2022. “One of the most crucial areas which required improvement, is the GST treatment of print vs digital educational products. We have seen how online educational content has the potential to improve educational access and quality. From this year’s budget, there is hope for the GST to be cut, allowing more individuals to invest in digital education.
Prateek Bhargava, Founder and CEO of Mindler, also believes that the last couple of years the education landscape across the country has undergone a huge transformation. With online and hybrid learning taking over, the pandemic changed the way education was perceived and opened a myriad of opportunities and innovation. This also brought into the limelight the huge inequality in terms of access of resources and quality of learning.
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“In the budget 2022, I look forward to seeing a massive focus towards a robust and improved digital infrastructure. While the government has put a lot of emphasis and come up with various initiatives to help students and stakeholders, ensuring adoption will require a lot of focus on making these solutions accessible. I also expect the government to continue its focus on upgrading the abilities of our teachers as that’s where the real impact will come from,” he said. “From an ed-tech sector perspective I expect the government to also reduce the GST rate on ed-tech solutions which will make these solutions more accessible to students and parents in these difficult times. With NEP 2020 in its implementation phase the government should also put a lot of emphasis on ensuring scientific career guidance in schools and institutions so that students and parents can understand the emerging landscape and leverage the various routes and pathways being introduced by the government.”
Bhargava says this will truly help the other interventions being made by the government towards retaining students in the education system as we start recovering from the pandemic. “Lastly, while the government has taken incredible initiatives in building a strong learning ecosystem, the budget should also look at involving ed-tech startups as part of educational governing bodies to bring the best learning solutions for our future generation.”
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