Union budget: Positive vibes among education sector stakeholders

After the Interim Budget (vote on account) 2019 presented in February this year, the full budget for this fiscal was presented in the Parliament by the new Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, who for record is the first ever full time woman finance minister of India, on July 5.   

Education sector has been allocated Rs 94,853.64 crore in the union budget for 2019-20, which is an increase of nearly Rs10,000 crore over 2018-19 budget estimates. Of this Rs 56, 536.63 crore has been pegged for school sector and Rs 38,317.01 crore for higher education.

In the school sector the bulk of the allocation ( Rs36,322 crore) will be allotted to Samagra Shikha Abhiyan. The mid-day meal program has been allocated Rs11,000 crore or Rs500 crore more than what 2018-19 budget estimates had pegged.

While teachers training has been a constant hype and debate point among academics, the budget allocates the teachers training and adult education only Rs 125 crore, a significant climb down from Rs 871 crore allocated in 2018-19 budget estimate.

In the higher education space, the interest subsidy and contribution to education guarantee fund has been cut from Rs2,150 crore in 2018-19 to Rs1,900 crore in 2019-20. Similarly, the much hyped PM fellowship scheme fund has been reduced from Rs75 crore in 2018-19 to Rs50 crore this fiscal.

However, the total allocation for research and innovation has been bumped up from Rs350 crore last fiscal to Rs609 crore in the current fiscal. Finance minister proposed to establish a National Research Foundation to fund and promote research, a proposal was first proposed in the draft new education policy already in public domain.

“We propose to establish a National Research Foundation (NRF) to fund, coordinate and promote research in the country. NRF will assimilate the research grants being given by various ministries independent of each other,” the finance minister said in her Budget 2019 speech.

Some Reactions from Education/Skills education educationists/managements/experts:

Dr. Jamshed Bharucha, Vice Chancellor, SRM University, AP-Amaravati : “We welcome this year’s budget and its focus on research, innovation, technology-enabled teaching, and transformation of Indian higher education to global best practices. Allocation of Rs. 400 crore is also a welcome initiative. It will enable Indian institutions to build truly international student bodies, launching a new generation of graduates to cement India’s leadership position on the internationals stage. We look forward to support Government’s initiative and provide impetus to higher education in India. ” 

Anil Sachdev, Founder & CEO – SOIL (School of Inspired Leadership): “This budget has some promising ideas to prepare our people for the future. The idea to develop skills in foreign languages and artificial intelligence is a welcome move to develop talent for the global market. The idea to set up the National Research Foundation to encourage research, the setting up  of 80  Livelihood and 20  Technology incubators in agro-rural sector, Development of women entrepreneurs, starting a TV program for start- ups will develop an eco- system for risk taking, innovation and economic development resulting in job creation- a critical need. If the new education policy  builds pride, the longing to learn, experiment and innovate, it can give wings to all other initiatives such as Made In India, Digital India, Start Up India amongst other. The budget is a good statement of intent. What is required now is to test our ability to execute and hold ours accountable to ensure the right outcomes.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Vice-Chancellor, World University of Design:

“We hail the intent in this budget of a New India that aims to make the country as one of the leading higher education destination in the world. The focus on a new national policy, efforts to increase government funding, emphasis on research, skilling & digital technologies are the levers that will surely help drive India’s growth as one of the leading economies in future. We look forward to achieve the collective digital dream.”

Prashant Gupta, Executive Director, Sharda University : “Allocation of Rs 400 crore for world-class higher education, ‘Study in India’, new national education policy, thrust towards R&D, skilling and new –age technologies are all steps in the right direction that will help, the government, industry and academia in establishing India as the next educational hub. Additionally, the emphasis on quality education, improving the overall infrastructure will help the country become future-ready with a deeper focus on research and new age skills such as robotics and AI.”

Dr. Pankaj Gupta, President, IIHMR University, Jaipur :  “ A nation’s prosperity is directly proportional to its proficiency in education and the ability to churn the shortcomings into spaces of opportunity. From zero presence in top 200 universities ranking, we now have 3 institutions in the top 200 global institutions bracket, cementing India’s name in contention for global excellence in education. The present 2019 edition of the Budget has instilled the collective faith in the efficacy and judicious nature of the government. Much emphasis has been administered on research as proved by the announcement that the National Education Policy (NEP) will have a National Research Foundation to promote research. This will help financially empower the research ecosystem among universities across the country, without any external funding.  To make India a hub of higher education the government proposes ‘Study in India’ to bring in foreign students to pursue education here, thereby urging universities to revamp their systems. These, along with the government’s proposal of allocating Rs 400 crore for world-class higher education institutions in the country, make this budget a decisive victory for the Indian educational system.”

Rohit Manglik, CEO, EduGorilla: For startups

“A series of incentives accorded to startups in the Union Budget is a testimony to the government’s intent of fostering an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship in India. The move to set-up around 80 “livelihood business incubators” and 20 tech business incubators is commendable as it will boost entrepreneurship besides upskilling the workforce to meet demands of industry 4.0. Furthermore, the easing of Angel Tax on Start-ups and the proposal to revamp the Labour Laws will improve the Ease of Doing Business in the Indian economy. The extension of Women SHG Interest Subvention Programme will boost women entrepreneurship.”

For the education sector

“The Union Budget has holistically addressed the needs of the education sector and laid out a clear roadmap to boost the education sector.  The National Education Policy with a proposed investment of 400 crores can go a long way in revamping the sector bring it at par with the global standards. For long, various stakeholders have stressed the need for a unified regulator in the higher education sector. The proposed move to set up Higher Education Commission would smoothen the regulatory process and remove jurisdictional ambiguity.  Moreover, The National Research Foundation can play an instrumental role in strengthening the research ecosystem. Massive online courses through SWAYAM platform will go a long way in bridging the digital divide. Moreover, the due focus in the Union Budget on emerging technologies such as Big Data, Virtual Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics would aid in creating a skilled workforce to meet the demands of Industry 4.0. While much will hinge on the on-ground, implementation of the proposed policies, the Union Budget is clearly a progressive and visionary document.”

Amreesh Chandra, international educationalist 

“Turning India into an education attraction on the international market will systematically help India tackle the age-old problem of brain-drain. As major foreign education destinations like the US and the UK are slowly losing their charm due to their tight immigration laws, lack of job opportunities and reduction in working hours for students, they will have to take some important steps to preserve their demand. A sharp drop in Indian students moving abroad is already something the international universities have experienced.

The goal is not just to retain Indian students who are flocking abroad but also invite participation from the international students community who can explore India’s diverse culture and education .

Further our social adaptive fabric to multi cultures India, position of brand India and the acceptance of English as a second language make us an attraction destination of education for all neighbouring countries. However, India needs to work on its regulations, funding for educational institutions to create an adequate infrastructure for this.

The rising employability of the country, the current ‘invent’ mindset of the start-up culture and the increasingly international appeal as an investment destination have positively affected its position in the education sector. Even the Make in India campaign has established brand India as a contending player in the international sphere and hence “Educate in India”should be the next big tag line for India .

The allocation of Rs. 400 crore for world-class higher education institutions in Budget 2019 will ensure that India can potentially emerge as the next “intellectual capital” of the world where bright futures await prospective students.”

Mr. Chandra saw India developing as an education destination and hence initiated the movement of #educate in India under a copyright 2 years in view of the positive trends that the government was showing towards education.

Ketan Dewan, Co-founder & CEO, Talocity: “ Study in India for foreign students is a great initiative to promote India as a major education hub. This will allow 3 things- access to foreign intellectual capital, which is going to be the big differentiator in the march to the 5 trillion economy, international students will bring along substantial benefits to the Exchequer as well as the university ecosystem and  India is the largest English speaking population in the world and the requirements of English language will be paramount in this new era in India for existing facilities and incoming students.”

Shantanu Rooj, Founder and CEO, Schoolguru Eduserve Pvt. Ltd : 

“The overall direction of the budget seems progressive for the education industry. The finance minister alluded to the implementation of the  New Education Policy that brings in some revolutionary changes to the education framework of the country. The initiatives like GYAN and Study in India are well intended programs that can catapult India in the to the top league of education providers. The finance minister also indicated formation of the HECI (Higher Education Council of India) to simplify the regulatory cholesterol in the system. Initiatives like Khelo India, focus on language skills and an initiative to develop higher order skills like machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics etc can improve the employability of the students and lead them to higher paying jobs. However, the sector would have benefitted more if the infrastructural funding was not restricted to just “World Class Institutions” but should have included all the Universities, to improve their physical as well as digital infrastructure to be able to meet the demands of New India. The government should have also allocated additional funds towards skilling and employability of students to ensure better outcome of the degree education!”

Rituparna Chakraborty, EVP & Co-Founder, TeamLease Services: “The budget is modern in its presentation and makes a strong and ambitious statement as it lays down India’s vision of being a $5 Trillion dollar economy. It’s directionally aimed at building a social economy and each of the 10 points has ingredients for future job creation. Rural India, Women empowerment, Start-ups, Electric vehicles, Education, Skills, Make in India, Infrastructure, Employment-generation, Ease of doing business. Enabling employment creation extends to multiple dimensions – tax incentives, digital focus,  infrastructure development, promotion of sunrise sectors, empowering MSMEs and social enterprises and sops for higher education to name a few. Extending the Stand up India scheme until 2025, 2% interest subvention for GST-registered MSME on fresh or incremental loans, clearance of loans up to Rs 1 crore for MSME within 59 minutes and payments through an online portal reduce the hassles faced by the MSME. 

In addition, the four labour codes, changes in corporate taxation, simplification of GST filing, impetus in infrastructure, banking, aviation will have an impact on formal job creation. While we see impetus in high-end skill building capabilities, it has no mention of possible investments to be made in building vocational skills. The expectation was to see more large-scale structural reforms but it has emphasized on the right steps in taking forward some of the reforms initiated in the Modi 1.0. I hope the implementation of the decisions taken is done with choreographic precision to maximize the benefits for the economy.”

Sanjay Bahl, MD & CEO, Centum Learning: “The initiative to expand Women SHG Interest Subvention Programme in all the districts of India, could prove to be a great support in developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem at grass root level. As a leading skills training provider we foresee a trickledown effect in Skill India Mission. Additionally, the government’s vision to train 10 million youth with future ready skills in areas of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, etc. is a very forthcoming approach that we are in full support of. We believe that our Technology enabled Blended Learning (TeBL®) methodology will not only supplement this, but also enable various stakeholders involved in reversing the skill shortage in technology and IT domain.”

Dr. Santanu Paul, Co-founder and CEO at TalentSprint: “It is laudable that the FM in her maiden budget has called out the need for equipping our youth in new-age automation skills such as AI, Robotics, and Big Data. This is a tacit acknowledgement that the world is changing rapidly and our nation’s skill development initiatives need of a major overhaul. It is an acceptance of the new global normal where high-end skills command a premium, and low-end skills trade at a discount. 

To put our demographic abundance to good use, to be an enviable workforce of the world, to create and sustain high wages, and to secure future proof careers for our youth, premium skills steeped in disruptive technologies are the way forward. As waves of automation and innovation sweep through developed and  developing economies, destroying old jobs and replacing them with new ones, our education and skill development ecosystems must reinvent their purpose, so that our youth may emerge as winners.” 

 Divya Jain, Co-Founder & CEO, Safeducate:  ” The Government’s vision of Digital India and Startup India is incomplete without abled entrepreneurs who have both visions as well as skills to execute that vision. Finance Minister’s move to have 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in India paves the way for this and will promote the development of cutting-edge and indigenous technological solutions, create high-tech jobs in India, upskill Indian professionals, and enable us to tap the ripening global market.”

Kiran Dham, C.E.O. & HR Head – Globus Infocom Limited : ” The biggest issue that woman entrepreneurs have been facing over the past decades is their lack of access to finance and markets to build businesses. It has been witnessed that women do not get apt growth opportunities and nurturing in their early start-up phase. Therefore, the present proposal of the government through expanding various schemes capacities such as Self-help group, Mudra Scheme, Startup India, are well thought and will further encourage women to venture into businesses and prove their mettle on a global platform.”

 VLCC Institute’s Founder Mrs. Vandana Luthra :Among all women-centric incentives announced in Budget, the biggest draw is  the  expansion of the interest subvention scheme for women self help group (SHG) to all districts and allowing loans of up to ₹1 lakh for one woman in each self help groups (SHGs) across the country. This is surely a boost for them. While the government has made sizeable strides in empowering women , we would still like to see some progress on the women safety front. Budgetary allocations shouldn’t be restricted merely to funding decisions, but should also strive to make workplaces more accessible, women friendly, accountable, and safe. Implementing safety measures is a major prerequisite that cannot be compromised on.”

Ambarish Datta, MD& CEO of BSE Institute: “The focus on enhancing the quality of education as announced in the budget is very encouraging. Research and education are the cornerstones of the world’s best academic institutions, where promoting innovative ideas and producing successful, well-informed students are key objectives.  

The new national education policy that the finance minister has highlighted in her budget speach will provide the much needed thrust to significantly enhance the quality of education in India. 

The world is changing very rapidly with the advent of technologies like Blockchain, AI, Machine learning and Bigdata . The focus on modernising and significantly enhancing our education system will go a long way in not only helping out institutions become world class, but also help in making India a global educational hub as identified by the finance minister. “

Paul Dupuis, MD and CEO, Randstad India: “Budget 2019 is a holistic one which encapsulates the various measures that the Govt. will take towards achieving the $5 trillion economy by 2024. This budget is done with a long term vision, along with a strategic roadmap designed to put the economy on a fast track mode.

For India to realize this goal, it was critical to overhaul the country’s archaic labor laws. It is a step in the right direction taken by the Finance Minister to revamp the labor laws into a set of four labor codes as this will help in standardization of various processes and ensure better dispute settlement, job security and industrial relations.

One of the key concerns for India is not only creating jobs, but to create future job seekers who are adept with skills that the ‘Jobs of the Future’ will demand. It is quite commendable that the Government has introduced skilling initiatives in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, etc., which will aid job creation. These measures will help in creating more jobs as was envisaged in the Economic Survey 2018-19. It will definitely put India on the global map and enable it to become a favoured investment destination.

Opting for pragmatic solutions, in her maiden speech, the FM has given emphasis on sustainable job creation through investments in infrastructure projects. The Budget will provide further impetus to growth oriented sectors such as construction, services, and micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) thus building an ecosystem to create more jobs.”

Dr. Narendra Shyamsukha, Founder & Chairman, ICA Edu Skills: “ India has been one of the forerunners in imparting quality educations, from traditional Dharamshalas to modern cloud schools, with the support of the government. Yet skilling is a segment which requires a closer look as India still in grips with acute skill shortage- the gap between education imparted and the skills required, is vast. As a solution, this, 2019 budget has brought a great amount of hope. Government’s move to have 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs is set to boost skill development and job creation.  For this, the government has proposed to focus on creating training modules for industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT and Big Data. This, in turn, will help address the severe skill shortage technology and IT companies are facing right now.  ICA heralds this move and pledges to continue creating such path-breaking curriculum, empowering students to reach to the zenith.” 

 Radha Bhatia- Chairperson- Bird Group: ‘’The first ever budget presented by a woman finance minister is a matter of pride for me and all women in the country. Mrs Sitharaman has done a commendable job in the prudent allocation of funds. We hope that the execution of the vision is also as diligently carried out. This budget has shown the government’s commitment towards the education sector. We look forward to the new education policy for school and higher education which should also focus on the training of teachers and the methodology for creative learning. With the quality of education growing in the country, it is encouraging that the government is allocating INR 400 cr for the development of the sector. I also strongly believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies and Creating a Gandhi-pedia is a welcome move not only for Indian youth but also the world. India’s skills are well acknowledged globally, and many countries are thriving because of skilled Indian people. What we need to focus on in Skill India is developing this further through hands on teaching methods which are supported by practical work. The Finance Minister has addressed the major concerns about taxation of sections, except the senior citizens. ”

Rashmi Pradeep, Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas: ““The labour and employment laws of the country are expected to undergo a significant overhaul over the next few years, and we saw reaffirmation of the same in the budget. There has been an expectation for some time now that 40+ central labour laws will be consolidated into 4 codes, with at least two of those codes, on wages and industrial relations, likely to become a reality in the coming few months. We are hopeful that the archaic provisions of employment laws will get weeded out and there will be a meaningful harmonization of labour laws. It was confirmed in the budget that consolidation of labour laws is expected to standardize and streamline the process of obtaining registrations and filing returns, while also reducing the number of disputes by virtue of the various definitions under the numerous labour laws getting standardized. These takeaways from the budget are quite encouraging, and there is reason to be hopeful that there will be significant improvement in the ease of doing business in India.”

Martin Radley, Co-Founder, Carter Radley: ” Government’s move to have 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs will help boost skill development and job creation. Training of 10 million in industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT, and Big Data will help address the severe skill shortage technology and IT companies are facing right now. Skilling in these areas, which are valued highly within and outside the country, will ensure that the students can secure high paying jobs both in India and abroad.  Certainly, India is set to reach it’s shinning status in a short span of time, with such reforms.”  

Anindya Mallick, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt Ltd: The focus on emerging sectors in terms of providing fiscal incentives for foreign investments in setting up mega enterprises in the areas of semi-conductor fabrication, solar photo voltaic cells, computing hardware as well as the intent of making India the global electric vehicle hub will ensure that there is demand for engineers and other highly skilled professions. This will also provide an impetus for strengthening existing as well as setting up of research and innovation centres in the country. The budget through the declaration of allocation of Rs 400 crs  for transforming higher education institutions into research oriented world class institutions and improving higher education outcomes through policy & regulatory changes expected from the proposed Higher Education Commission of India supports the talent requirements. Further, the focus of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) going forward on new age skills like AI, IOT, 3D Printing, etc. is a step towards ensuring availability of requisite skill requirements for supporting India’s growth aspirations.”


Ashish Bhatia,Founder, India Accelerator: “ In the Budget 2019-20, some of concerns of Startup ecosystem have been addressed. Easing of Angle tax issue  is a step in right direction. Providing a platform like Shark Tank via a Doordarshan umbrella will also help many of the start ups, particularly in the early stages to raise funds and let the whole nation know about them. “

Chef Niklesh Sharma, Founder, Academy of Pastry Arts : ‘’We welcome the Indian Government proposal on setting up a National Education Policy to transform and take India’s higher education system to global standards. Also, we appreciate the idea behind Study in India policy which will encourage the foreign students to intake their higher education in India.  This will not only boost the economy but will also open new channels of education in the country.’’

Vikas Singh, Managing Director, Pearson India :  “The Union budget has recognized the importance of technology in the growth of the country by announcing training of 10 million youth in industry-relevant skills such as AI, IoT, and Big Data. While the move will enable India address the skill-shortage, it will also allow the current talent pool to be future-ready. The allocation of funds to build world-class higher education institutes is a big foot forward in strengthening the roots of Indian education system. The decision of establishing National Research Foundation will reinvigorate research that is critical to building indigenous products and solutions. We are confident that with a renewed focus on quality education and technology being the pivot, the Indian education sector will be benefited in years to come.

Ankush Singla, Co-Founder, Coding Ninjas: The National Education Policy introduced in this budget with an INR 400 crore allocation is a welcome move. One of the key differentiators this time has been the focus on increasing digital access for online courses, which is the only way to tackle the unprecedented scale of unemployability and skilling needs of this nation. We also welcome this governments focus on high tech educational areas of AI and robotics in this budget. India has a prominent position in the global IT market and this will be one of the concrete steps to build long term skilled manpower supply to allow for the IT industry to prosper and thrive. Build better infrastructure, incentivize global students to learn in India, and focus on high end tech education is the hallmark of this budget and we welcome it.”

Beas DevRalhan, Co-founder and CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd:  “The Union Budget 2019 has proposed significant changes which have the capability to revitalise the education sector. Apart from focusing on improving research and higher education via the National Research Foundation, it has promoted play-based early childhood education and high-quality teacher training via the new National Education Policy. The government has also proposed to increase efforts in skills development of our youth by incorporating new technologies in education such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and new learning strategies such as virtual realities and robotics. Furthermore, in an admirable move, the National Sports Education Board for the development of skilled sportsmen is to be set up under “Khelo India” project, so as to promote enthusiasm in sports as an important part of the development of today’s learners” 

Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Managing Director, MBD Group:  “The roadmap drawn by Finance Minister in the union budget augurs really well for the education sector. The vision statement of “Study in India” to bring foreign students in India along with 3-fold increase in allocation for world-class higher education, i.e. Rs.400 crore, is a move towards making India an education hub. Announcement of bringing new education policy which proposes major changes in both school and higher education among others, is a commendable step towards a uniform and improved education system. Also, the govt’s  focus on imparting new-age skills in areas like artificial intelligence, internet of things (IoT), big data, 3-D printing, virtual reality and robotics to equip youth will immensely help in creating a large pool of skilled manpower”.

Tarun Bhalla, Founder & CEO, Avishkaar : “When I started Avishkaar, there were quite a few hurdles that I had to navigate through. This initiative of the Government to have a dedicated channel for startups for information dissemination could prove to be immense for budding entrepreneurs.” He further adds, “Focus on job creation in MSMEs and a dedicated payment platform will help give a much needed boost to the industry. Also, teaching skills such as AI, Big Data, IoT and Robotics would help create a skilled workforce in the near future.” 

Akshay Chaturvedi, Founder & CEO, Leverage Edu:  “This is by far one of the most encouraging budgets I have seen for the education/career domain. Great to see inputs taken by the Hon’ble Prime Minister during Champions of Change two years back coming into play with the New Education Policy. I am personally most kicked up about the “Study in India” program to bring foreign students to India, setting our country up as a top education hub, as well as directed focus on skills for building careers abroad – as they both align nwith our vision at Leverage Edu,. It helps us expand our market and impact opportunity massively – so absolutely delighted!”

Sanjay Lakhotia, Co-Founder, Noble House Consulting Pte :”

The union budget 2019 speaks volumes about the government’s push for structural reforms and support for the start-up and SME sectors. The emphasis has been on skill development and ease of funding and business for the sector. The government’s plan to integrate cutting edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Virtual Reality, Animation, 3-D Printing and Robotics as skills to be trained under the PMKY is a far reaching step. It will help in making Indian entrepreneurs capable of competing at a global level. India’s stringent labour laws are one of the biggest hurdles for entrepreneurs setting up shop. It is therefore encouraging that the government is pushing for streamlining multiple labor laws into a set of four labor codes.”

 Soumya Gulati, Deputy Director, Blue Bells Group of Schools: ” The government’s decision to bring in a new educational policy at par with the global system will change the trend of outflow of students to foreign countries. It will make Indian students more capable and competitive globally. The FM’s decision to promote greater autonomy and focus on better academic outcomes in higher education will boost the morale of institutions and encourage them to go above and beyond to deliver a better result. Government’s decision to launch’ Study in India’s programme will attract foreign students in higher education resulting in an increase in our national income. ”  

Saurabh Pandey, Senior Faculty, Shankar Academy of Art, New Delhi:  “The new approach of Gandhi-pedia extracted from Budget 2019, allows allocation of 400 cr for quality education which is going to enable more number of Indian educational institutions to be featured on international rankings. Besides this, the ‘Study In India’ scheme will make our nation a captivating destination for foreign students to study here. This will make a way for growth in the educational sector and it will be culturally significant too. Such kind of promotional measures from budget 2019 is great in featuring the economy of India in the best way possible because India is capable of becoming an education hub!”

Amol Arora, MD – SHEMROCK & SHEMFORD Group of Schools: “ This budget is guided by the mission to strengthen the Education Sector especially the establishment of the ‘National Research Foundation’-which will definitely help in creating the right ecosystem for R&D in the country. And it was great to see the government finally taking notice of industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT, Big Data and reforms in the higher education sector. A humble yet notable announcement was the ‘Study in India’ Programme, which holds the potential to put India on the world map. However, we still need a series of fundamental structural reforms – which I hope will be addressed in the near future.

 Srini Raghavan, Founder and CEO, EI: “Two significant initiatives, National Education Policy and the Union Budget, coinciding this year is a huge opportunity for the education sector. As a research-driven EdTech company, we welcome the government’s proposal of setting up National Research Foundation to improve the quality of research across all levels of private and public educational institutes. I believe it can be a game changer. However, there is a need for a higher focus on K 12 education. Unless we fix core issues in learning levels of school children – such as building foundational skills, tracking impact, board exam revamp, teacher training, etc. – initiatives at the higher education level will not yield desired results” 

Dr. Abhijit Gangopadhyay, Dean, Aegis School of Data Science:   “With the evolution of exponential & disruptive technology for effective use of data in different types of the business ecosystem and for better decision as well as for transformational economic growth the initiative of GOI is highly commendable. The government has proposed initiatives to boost Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, etc to catalyze career options for young professionals and create synergy with global trends. The introduction of study in India’ program to attract foreign students will be a great opportunity to facilitate a global mindset. It is felt that the Skill India Yojana would contribute to the progress of the country in a much larger way. If we can work together with the Government towards the upliftment of the youth, we can create a trillion dollars economy and data-enabled India.”

 Ravi Sreedharan, Founder, and Director, Indian School of Development Management (ISDM): “We welcome the move of Ms. Sitharaman to change the education policy keeping in mind the need for job creation for India 2.0. Job crunch has been a major concern for the youth of our country and this will help in reducing the gap. The Indian education system has always lacked a global student mix. Study in India plan in order to bring foreign students will help in bringing the desired diversity in our education sector. Understanding the importance of research in academics by announcing various grants will further lead to the development and sustainability of the sector. The revision in the allocation of budget for the education sector will aid in improving the quality of education in India.”

Vamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-Founder, Vedantu: “Digitization has given a major boost to the robust education system in India – the second largest market for e-learning after the US. Therefore, a National Education Policy to bring India’s higher education system on par with global standards will be a big leap towards bolstering the e-learning market. With the resultant demand in e-learning, Vedantu will leverage this opportunity towards improving learning outcomes for students hailing from even the remotest part of the country, this will be possible by using the pillars of technology such as AI & ML. The government’s plan to re-energize the education sector is a positive step to boost the morale of young learners. On the back of this emerging technologies such as AI & ML will help in spreading education through EdTech platform across the country. Further, the proposition to launch ‘Study in India’ that will position India as a prime destination for higher education amongst students aboard, will open doors and present opportunities for educators and e-learning sector as a whole.”

Achin Bhattacharyya, Founder & CEO, Notebook :”  The announcement of promoting greater autonomy and focus on better academic outcomes by setting up Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) is a welcome Initiative. Education is  a much broader concept and should lead to all round development of a student, hence the importance of sportscan never be ignored, setting up of a National Sports Education Board for Development of Sportspersons under Khelo India Scheme is a welcome step.

Steps being taken to create a more globally employable workforce with Industry relevant skill training under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and equip them in various skills including Language skills and new age skills like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, Big Data, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality and Robotics is a practical move if implemented successfully.

Announcements made by the FM with regard to angel tax for Start ups will bring in much needed clarity and transparency for start ups and help in boosting investment into start ups which will go a long way in creating jobs by boosting investors confidence about governments intent of promoting Start up’s.”

  Gaurav Srivastava, Regional Director, South Asia, GMAC :“We are pleased to hear that the government is keen to make India an international hub for education. We have been running a ‘Study in India’ campaign for the last two years in partnership with some of India’s leading business schools to help them with their recruitment efforts in getting international candidates in the classroom who bring with them diversity and a rich perspective of what is happening in other economies.”