The Union Budget 2016-17, presented in the Lok Sabha by the union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seemed to have a fine balance between the elementary and higher education in the country. The budget has decided to free 20 private and public educational institutes to break free from the age old mechanism and enter into the big league through overall infrastructural and academic development and enter into world class status. On the other hand the budget has also supported elementary education through allocating a hike of Rs. 500 crore in the ‘Sarva Shikha Abhiyan’ scheme. In the coming months, the name of 20 higher education universities will get released by the ministry.
The budget further mentioned that a Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) will be set up in the country with a corpus of Rs. 1000 crore. According to the IIT Kanpur Director Indranil Manna, “All the five older IITs are in desperate need of funds to develop infrastructure. Any funding that targets this requirement will be welcomed, provided the repayment model is feasible for us. The repayment model is not yet clear.”
The UPA led government had instituted the plan of digital depository for school leaving certificates and diplomas of candidates, but not much had been done in this regard. The union budget seemed to address the same and is keen on working on the same. The budget has also announced to establish 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas in the country, to further strengthen the education of rural India. There is no hike in the mid-day meal scheme allocation in the budget and the SSA programme has got a meager hike in the budget. Because of the lack of funds, these programmes are suffering hard presently, and such little allocation in these schemes would further worsen the situation of education.
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