More than 15,000 schools will include all components of the National Education Policy, which will enable them to emerge as exemplar schools in their respective regions.
Presenting the National Budget 2021-22, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Centre will set up higher education in Ladakh and will set up a central university in Leh. “The Budget proposals for 2021-22 rest on six pillars – health & well-being, physical & financial capital & infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation & R&D, minimum govt & maximum governance,” she said.
The Finance Minister also proposed to set up a Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) as an umbrella as an umbrella body having four separate vehicles for standard setting, accreditation, regulation and funding. “Many of our cities have various research institutions, universities, and colleges supported by the Government of India. Hyderabad for example, has about 40 such major institutions. In nine such cities, we will create formal umbrella structures so that these institutions can have better synergy, while also retaining their autonomy. A glue grant will be set aside for this purpose,” Sitharaman said.
However, concerns have been raised as the Centre has reduced the dugetary allocation for the Ministry of Education by 6.13 per cent when compared with the allocation in 2020-21.
Sitharaman announced that a total amount of Rs 93,224 crore will be allocated for the Ministry of Education. This consists of Rs 54,874 crore for Department of School Education and Literacy, and Rs 38,350 crore for the Department of Higher Education. The allocation for 2021-22 for Education is 6.13 per cent less than the allocation made by the Union Government in 2020-21. In 2020-21, the budgeted estimate for the Ministry of Education was Rs 99,312 crore, which was revised to Rs 85,089 crore.
The Finance Minister also said that the National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed to set standards for school teachers. This will impact around 92 lakh teachers currently in the public and private schools across the country. Furthermore, a National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) will be set up to support teaching and learning activities. The digital architecture set up under this will also help in educational planning, governance and administrative activities of the Centre and the States/Union Territories.