Pre Budget Quote by Mrs. Damayanti Bhattacharya, Principal of Jasudben ML School and Bloomingdales Pre-Primary
40% of India’s population is in the age bracket of 18 or below. The country needs to spend a great deal on education. However, the country spends only 3% of its GDP on the education sector. Since about 1968, the education sector has expressed its need for an increase of budget to at least 6% which has still not been achieved. By increasing this budget, India can demonstrate the sense of responsibility that it feels toward the future of the country. If NEP 2020 has to be fulfilled, we will need to improve basic literacy in our country or the pre-primary, FLN in our country. And in order to do that, we would need the finest and developed infrastructure which is the utmost required and for the same, funds are needed in the higher education sector.
A lot of funds has to be diverted, allotted to research development which is the key for progress of any country. In a country like Israel or even Bhutan, the G D P on education is about 7%. All right? In the US it’s about 6%. So if we are looking at a country with a big population, a country as big as India certainly requires more funds to be divested towards its educational system. The implementation of these NEP, development of the AI labs, retraining teachers in e-learning, reaching out to the little villages of India through technology, through e-learning all this requires funds. Without funding NEP is not possible to implement. still such a time that the NEP has not been implemented completely. Also the government needs to think of reducing the GST on the education sector. Currently the GST is about 18%, and that needs to be zero till the NEP is completely implemented.
When it comes to a girl child, there were certain incentives which were given to the girl child which have now been reduced, and though the government has made the SSA or the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan and allotted some amount. However, the allotted amount has been affected drastically. Since the major strength in our country is its human resource, the government has to invest in its human resource and capacity building. NEP also focuses on vocational training and learning compulsory which requires a decisive effort of the government to take it forward and to implement, to make it help the education system in creating the infrastructure.
If vocational training is well implemented, it’ll have far greater outcomes in the skilling of the workforce in India in the future. Hence, the budget must take into account the fulfillment of the NEP and the requirements of the age group. Keeping in mind the large numbers that we have to reach out to and the length and the breadth of a country like India and if we have to extend our assistance to each and every child especially a girl child, alongside we should also provide incentives, scholarships to the economically weaker section as we have to do to the meritorious.
It requires a lot of careful planning and funding. I’m hoping that we will be able to come up from the 3% in the last year till 6%. 6% is a minimum that we require for developing an economy and country like ours with such bright minds. I believe the NEP is a wonderful document, if it is implemented accurately.. The concern of all academicians, people in the education sector has been the lack of funds. I think the government has to really rethink investing in the future, it should invest in the education sector. This will definitely give us a positive outcome and rewards in years ahead.