Editorial Team

With the budget announced, there come some takeaways for the education sector. This year, with the focus on the Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti that will work in seven different sectors, namely roads, railways, airports, mass transport, waterways, and logistics infrastructure, the FM promises the generation of jobs that will benefit the youth of the country. Thus, there is a need for more educational reforms to get them ready for the world of employment.

In this regard, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman has included the rollout of 5G services that will help rural areas to connect online. With the required spectrum auctions, private players can help provide accessibility and connectivity across the nation. In addition to this, the finance minister also introduced the ‘one class one TV channel program’ of PM eVIDYA that will expand from 12 to 200 TV channels. This will enable states to provide supplementary education and regional languages from classes 1 to 12. On further employment of the youth, the animation, visual effects, gaming, and comic sectors will come together to form a promotional task force to suggest ways of employment and build domestic capacity for serving a market in demand.

As experts come together to debate the policies given by the Cabinet in the days to come, here are some reactions to the Union Budget 2022 from leaders across the country.

Niru Agarwal, Trustee, Greenwood High International School

Education is a unique sector where investment has multiple effects. The state of education is often a healthy predictor of the country’s overall development and well-being. While quality education holds the key to inclusive growth, education in India needs to be recognised as an equaliser especially in the context of the pandemic. It is also a crucial instrument that can bridge the socio-economic divide in our country. Establishing 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 country to access quality education far and wide through the hub and spoke model. The development of quality e-content to empower and equip teachers with digital tools of teaching and facilitating better learning outcomes is a welcome measure to help children. With 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. There was a necessity to train and build skills among children as this would make them employable and this has been addressed by focusing on ITI’s which will undertake this task. The digital gap has also proven to be a bane for the education sector in the context of the pandemic. Education plays an important role in bringing a change in society across generations and more so now in this technological age. Now the proper implementation is needed to take conducive steps to bridge the digital divide gap so that learning solutions can be easily accessed by everyone as it’s a critical need at the ground level. The overall focus of the budget has been to make education robust and responsive to students’ needs in terms of quality education in rural areas, skill development, research & development and employability. Going forward, more rigorous platforms should be developed and curated for students to learn with ease and discipline.

Shweta Sastri, Managing Director, Canadian International School, Bangalore

The union budget has ushered in positive measures in the field of education which will give a boost to the sector especially in the context of the pandemic. A robust education system is a necessity for any growing nation and this is all the more important when the country is aiming to normalize education. The focus on digitization, bridging the rural-urban gap, making online education available to all children are all measures that are welcome. Two years of education regression for school going children meant that we needed to double-up efforts to bridge education gaps. The budget 2022 for the education sector rightly focuses on upskilling and digital learning. The announcement of one class one channel and expansion to 200 channels under e-vidya will enable the reach of online education to a vast body of students where online education is still not widespread. The push to regional education is welcome as this will once again enable people in the rural areas to access quality education in their languages. Another welcome decision on the digital university is that it will expand the reach of education to the masses as it will follow a hub and spoke model and emphasize the role of ICT in digital education. The focus on skill training by ITIs will also enable students to be employable in the future. The budget has addressed structural issues in the education landscape and has ensured that all children get access to education. The budget has also well-coincided with the opening of schools as it is important to reverse the learning loss among students. Education clearly is one of the most important investments a country can make in its people and their future. The government must act to meet the needs of an aspiring generation that is looking to the future with great hope. Overall, it has given a boost to the education sector that will result in the nation’s progress.

Paridhi Khaitan, Managing Director, ProTeen

“The Union Budget 2022’s push for high-quality e-content in regional languages is a very welcome allocation, given that it allows our multilingual youth to thrive and grow in the language they are most familiar with. The proposed e-content delivery and personalized learning will also help dissolve geographical boundaries and make learning more effective, allowing students to learn at their own pace and time. We foresee more students getting equal access to quality education, which, in turn, will push up overall learning outcomes. The Union Budget 2022 today further reiterated that the path to India’s economic recovery also lies with India’s student community. The Budget’s blueprint for skilling programs through ITIs and the new digital DESH e-portal will help deliver the most vulnerable students from losing out on employment opportunities and will reduce the skill gap to a great extent. The Budget’s positive schemes are indeed commendable, and we hope to see them transform our education sector and our nation into a much larger global superpower.”

Nirmal Shah, Co-founder, Countingwell

We are glad to see the government’s focus on building digital tools and quality content for students. Given that education was one of the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic, the development of a digital university and the expansion of the eVidya scheme, along with the One Class One TV Channel, will greatly benefit the students to access high-quality education.

From the Edtech industry perspective, it brings us into the mainstream, going beyond “had to have it because of Covid”. The impact and benefit of Edtech to the education systems will gain greater visibility with schools and parents, and we expect that to give us great impetus.

Jai Decosta, Founder & CEO at K12 Techno Services Pvt. Ltd.

The current Govt has been more inclined towards digitisation in every aspect including education which is futuristic and it is appreciable.

The FM and the Central Govt have given more emphasis on digital education. The acknowledgement of the loss of formal education of the students especially from the Government schools due to the pandemic induced lockdown and infusion of the expertise of foreign universities to strengthen the fintech and mathematics education in the Indian education system is a good proposition. Also, establishing the digital university at par with the global learning standards in various Indian languages will blur the disparity between urban and rural education.

In my opinion, aggressive initiatives to promote and collaborate with private players might help the Govt to reduce further education loss for the students from economically challenged backgrounds.

However, the overall budget failed to provide direction to private education players, especially in the K12 segment. The private sector bore the brunt of the pandemic and the budget overlooked it completely and does not give any relief in terms of GST exemption or special provision for Private schools to borrow funds from banks at concessional rates. Since this was highly required and expected from this budget, therefore it was a bit disappointing to notice the FM did not factor these in her Budget planning.

Prateek Bhargava, Founder & CEO, Mindler

One of the biggest highlights of the Union Budget 2022 is the announcement of establishing a Digital University which shall democratize access to world-class quality education for students in different languages. With hybrid learning models expected to be the future, this is a great initiative by the government.

Another major highlight was World-class foreign universities and institutions to be allowed in GIFT IFSC to offer courses on FinTech, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Allowing world-class Universities to offer courses free from domestic regulations will be great for students as this would make such education more accessible and affordable.

The budget also recognized the need to impart supplementary teaching and build a recipient mechanism for education delivery. To compensate for the pandemic-induced impact on education, a very promising move has come in to ensure the reach of needed coaching and guidance to the rural population via PM’s eVIDYA program in their regional languages. This will ultimately boost the content creation, adaptable mechanism for the students and will empower and equip teachers with digital tools of teaching to facilitate better learning outcomes, which is the need of the hour.

The Union Budget 2022 also talks about the need to empower and equip teachers with digital tools of teaching to facilitate better learning outcomes, which is the need of the hour. Focus on promoting critical thinking skills and a stimulating learning environment through virtual labs and skilling e-labs is also an excellent move.

Achin Bhattacharyya, Founder and CEO Notebook 

Expansion of the “One class, one TV channel” program of PM eVIDYA from 12 to 200 TV channels is a welcome step as encouraging supplementary education in regional languages is the need of the hour as language cannot act as a barrier to receiving a quality education, especially for first-generation learners. Encouraging PPP projects which will help in a centralised build-up of quality content in regional languages and ensure their easy access through mass mediums will help the country reap the demographic dividend in the years to come. The plan of developing a digital university to provide access to students for world-class quality education with ISTE Standards will give a huge boost to learning. this welcome announcement by the Hon FM has the potential to bring in globally renowned faculty members and students from all over the world and ensure excellent peer to peer discussion and discourse. It’s time to build centres of excellence that will be India proud.

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 up-gradation of Anganwadi. Coupled with the 5G rollout – this budget should accelerate more accessible quality education in the country.

Surabhi Goel, CEO, Aditya Birla Education Academy, Aditya Birla World Academy

The Union Budget 2022 has provided an impetus on increasing ‘One Class One TV Channel’, PM e-Vidya from 12 to 200 TV Channels thereby providing to strengthen supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1-12. With a theme of digitisation, the budget has laid emphasis on the importance of continuing to train teachers to improve hybrid learning outcomes especially since the students have faced huge learning gaps due to the pandemic. We are in line with the announcement as Aditya Birla Education Academy is at the forefront of designing courses to help the country’s educators enhance their skills and bridge gaps as students return to school in 2022.

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.

Chandrahas Panigrahi, Cofounder, Edukemy

The union budget 2022-23 has been well received by the people, industry, and market. The massive 35% increase in capital expenditure proposed by the government was responded to by the 1.5% jump in stock market indices despite weak global cues. Ed-tech Sector- With the announcement of 5G spectrum auctions in the year 2022-23, the FM has strongly advocated for decreasing learning gaps for school children through high-quality supplementary education e-content through digital modes and 200 e-vidya channels. The government has also planned a pan-India Digital University through a hub and spoke model with access to tools and consoles in various regional languages. A mention to set up AVGC task force to enhance animation, visual effects, gaming, and comic sector would ensure to give fillip to education and ed-tech sector.

Lavin Mirchandani, Co-Founder- ConnectEd

Right to Education was adopted by the Government of India a long time ago. With Budget 2022, we see the government providing students with the Right to Quality Education. We are particularly ecstatic to note that the Government seeks to take fibre-based internet connection to every village in India by 2023 and expand its ‘One Class, One Channel’ program, as it will enable under-served students in Bharat to access quality education; much like their privileged counterparts across India. The creation of quality vernacular educational content is an extremely resource-intensive task, which has kept most EdTech players from serving students reliant on India’s public education system. We have been involved in this space for the last 6 years, and warmly welcome the government’s foray into this space, as providing quality educational content in local languages to these students is a job no single entity can manage. We hope to work alongside the government and announcements made today to usher in an age where students across India are equipped to contribute to the India growth story, irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds.

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 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.

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, resources, 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 the 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.

Abishek Kumar Yadav, Academic Director and Chairman, Griffins International School

We Would have hoped that government would have additional tax benefits towards the tuition fee paid for the child’s education beyond the current limit. There is no significant announcement for the education sector. However, the alignment of the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) with dynamic industry needs is a welcome move.

Karanvir Singh, Founder & CEO Pariksha- Vernacular Edtech Platform

Digital education became the familiar way of new-age learning following the lockdown. The new trend has been well accepted by the government as the way forward for upskilling, widening access to education, and strengthening the higher education system in the country. Additionally, the budget too circumscribed the fact that in a diverse nation like India, education can only be delivered by understanding the vernacular requirements of every region. The expansion of ‘One Class One TV Channel’ to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1-12 will boost the early and secondary education in the country. And the proposed launch of the digital university will simultaneously cater to the requirements of higher education. Thus, the budget has served, end-to-end, to raise the education system in the country in a holistic manner.

Piyush Bhartiya, AdmitKard- Edtech for higher education abroad

The budget has been very much in line with the latest trends and changing paradigm in the education system. We are glad that the government is promoting digital education in India. The budget mentioned the launch of a nationwide digital university, which might be the answer to the long prevailing gaps in the higher education system. What initially started as a result of the global lockdown, has now been acknowledged as the probable solution to the difficulty of accessing higher education in the country where 65% of the population resides in the rural region. Simultaneously, stressing on Higher education will reflect in the next generation’s culture and quality of skill-set in the employment market.

Ankit Maggu, Co-Founder, Geekster

The biggest challenge that our youth face is the lack of in-demand skills, the reason for this is that our higher education has not been able to adapt as per the changing Industry requirements. The new age entrepreneurs are trying to address this gap through different models making skill based education accessible to the masses but a lot more needs to be done. The launch of digital university is a great step, as it will increase the penetration of quality education even in the remotest areas at affordable price points. Additionally, Digital DESH e-portal will help further refine the skills of the youth making them more employable and will reduce the skill gap, benefiting both – jobseekers, and employers.

Himanshu Tyagi, CEO & Founder of Digikull

The long prevailing skill gap in the market was a challenge for both- the recruiters, and youth of the nation too. With the launch of Digital DESH e-portal we can expect to fill in this gap to a certain extent. The interesting part is, that following the lockdown, adoption of digital media had increased. The budget has leveraged this shift in behaviour to add to the ultimate aim of digital India. If the execution is right, we can gradullary expect digital learning to become the primary education system 5 years down the line.

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. 
Mahalakshmi Satish, Director, Prodigy Education India

What 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 edtech 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.

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.

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.

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