In his announcement of the Budget 2016, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the creation of a Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) with an initial capital base of Rs 1,000 crore which will leverage funds from the market and work to create infrastructure in India’s top institutions like the IITs.
Apart from this, he also spoke about creating a regulatory architecture for ten public and ten private institutions which will emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions.
Apart from this, a digital depository was announced to store school and achievement certificates of students and the government said that it will be focusing on the quality of education, going ahead.
The Government has presented a well-balanced budget with right emphasis on the rural economy, education, agriculture, infrastructure and social security among others, Deepak Mehrotra, Managing Director, Pearson India said.
Tackling the issue of lack of funds that leads to a large number of students opting out of Higher education, the setting-up of finance agency for higher education could play a key role in giving it the right momentum and contribute to a healthier Gross enrollment ratio (GER) at higher-ed level.
Deepak Mehrotra Pearson India
The budget, however, lacks concrete measures towards building efficacy in the education system and making it more learner-centric. The need of the hour is to improve the quality of Indian education and focus should be on imparting faculty training, building robust assessment framework, more so at the school level.
The complexity of the Indian educational challenge calls for a greater involvement of the private sector capital and expertise. However, the budget is silent on measures to further boost private sector investment in the education sector.
Vivekananda Education Society Institute of Management
“The step to set up ‘Higher Education Financing Agency’ in the private-public sector, with an initial outlay of Rs 1,000 crore by the government, is most welcome, Satish Modh, Director of the institute said.
Corporates can use their CSR fund to participate in the Higher Education Financing Agency effectively. Many poor students would benefit from it.
The government is looking to correct the perception that India does not have world class institutions of higher learning by helping create 10 private and 10 public institutions, he said “Looking at the number of higher educational institutions in the country India should have a presence in top 100 world ranking of institutions. How it will be done we have to see. Just providing funding is not enough,” he added.
“One thing government clearly admits that the current education system does not provide skilled manpower to the industry. While we wait for the new education policy, there is a clear indication that government wants to create new institutions in the form of 1,500 multi-skill institutes at the outlay of Rs. 1,700 crores. How will these be set up? So far the new Ministry of Skill Development of this government has not been able to deliver,” he said.
BSE Institute Ltd and Director of National Skill Development Council
“We welcome the strong measures to strengthen skill development and entrepreneurship. The continuous support to skill development through NSDC is in the right direction.
The Higher Education Financing Agency is path breaking and will certainly help deserving students who want to pursue higher education studies. The visionary direction towards Start up India – especially women entrepreneurs will help India move from a country of job seekers to a land of job creators, vital for sustainable economic growth and development.”
Whistling Woods International
“The budget spoke a lot about building the country’s future. The focus was on skills to aid job creation, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International said. The budget’s allocation of Rs 10 billion for higher education financing will help students move toward learning after school, she said.
Meghna Ghai Puri President, Whistling Woods
FM’s citation of the need for education to become the fourth pillar of the budget is heartening to hear. All in all, I think there were a lot of positive ideas for the education sector in the budget, and a lot of money was committed by the government. However, the execution of a lot of these ideas though will need to be seen.
“The establishment of multi-skill institutes at Rs 1,700 crore, a Rs 1,000 crore higher education financing agency and the objective to skill one crore youth in the next three years under the Prandhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is praiseworthy. While the proposed digital depository for school leaving certificate is a welcome step, a central mechanism to validate skilled population would have been music to many ears,” the Managing Director and CEO Aptech said.