Is Budget 2023 A Doorway To Making India The Talent And Teaching Capital Of The World?

Is Budget 2023 A Doorway To Making India The Talent And Teaching Capital Of The World?

The much-awaited annual event of our FM announcing the Budget 2023 is now live and every sector is eyeing bolder moves to accelerate its growth momentum. But it seems we have some green shoots while other items on the industry wishlist couldn’t make it to the GOIs priority list.

Encompassing major themes like Care, Green, and Digital India, the Budget 2023-34 touches upon sensitive areas like skill training for MSMEs, Agriculture Accelerator Fund to encourage agri-startups by young entrepreneurs, a National Digital Library for children/adolescents with quality resources, Private-Public partnerships within the cotton industry for maximizing output and growth, and so forth.

Education and the appropriate allocation of funds towards its growth have always remained topics of unending debate, but the current budget announcement, designed with a vision of making India a global superpower in the next 25 years has undeniably recorded certain milestones.

The training infrastructure for teachers has been prioritised and more emphasis on skilling and upskilling in new-age courses will continue to propel our growth. Budget allocation for the education sector crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore mark for the first time last year and therefore, a higher allocation this year could have added a strong impetus to the overall progress and the adoption of online learning, especially across non-metros and rural India. Nonetheless, periodic interventions by GOI will continue to streamline the accessibility and affordability of education in the country.

Talking about higher and adult education, which defines real career ROI, the GOI’s generous initiatives towards skilling India’s youth and teachers will boost our talent growth in the coming times. The government has also expressed its mission of employing 38,800 teachers and support staff for 740 Eklavya model schools supporting tribal students in the next 3 years.

Also, with the setting up of 3 Centres of Excellence for AI to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ we would need more data and tech-trained professionals for peddling the growth across domains. Hence, we expect a wider collaboration between the government and TSPs (Technology Service Providers) in the coming times to ensure our talent remains armed with future-ready skills and domain expertise.

Lack of skilled talent is one of the perennial issues India is plagued with and therefore, the ongoing budget will also encourage seasoned professionals, teachers, and SMEs to constantly upgrade their skill sets and skip career redundancy. The launch of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 (under NEP 2020) to scale lakhs of youth in the next three years and the setting up of 30 skill India International centres across different states could become a watershed moment for the country.

Outside of higher education, the launch of the National Digital Library is a commendable action in accelerating the adoption of digital learning amongst children, especially across rural and remote regions, also addressing the socioeconomic or digital divide in the country to some extent. We need to understand the evolving requirements of today’s kids and youth who are digital-native and legitimate policies and financial growth levers introduced in Budget 2023 will empower them with high-quality learning and information for an informed future.

Now addressing the Edtech growth and potential in India; it’s undeniable that the higher education technology (EdTech) sector has grown rapidly in recent years, also driven by increased demand for online and flexible learning options. We expect this trend to continue for multiple reasons: (a) the increasing number of students and youth population, and (b) the growing popularity of technology-enabled learning which is allowing millions to learn without having to stay dependent on an offline infrastructure.

Budget 2023 proposes on-job training in new-age courses like coding, ai robotics, 3D-printing, and drones amongst others, and the launch of a unified skill India platform for enabling demand-based skilling will accelerate the growth of private players in the country. Edtechs have already built stronger tech capabilities for ensuring a high-speed or uninterrupted flow of education even in times when their offline counterparts were brought to a standstill.

There’s not much which has been budgeted against Edtechs or any other favourable tax regime for lowering the GST on Edtech services this year, but the stronger push towards upskilling India’s youth and key stakeholders across domains will propel the overall business growth of the ecosystem.

The proposal to provide stipend support to over Rs 47 lakh youth is a major move to encourage skilling while striking a balance between caring for our citizens, protecting our environment, and harnessing the power of technology to build stronger and more progressive infrastructure for our youth.

As rightly highlighted by FM Nirmala Sitharaman, “This Budget hopes to build on the foundation laid in the previous Budget and the blueprint drawn for India at 100. The current year’s economic growth is estimated to be at 7%. The economy is on the right track despite challenges and our focus on wide-ranging reforms helped us perform well in these trying times”, and we strongly feel that the right set of policies, learning resources, and budgetary allocations like these have the potential of making India the Teaching and Talent capital of the world.

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