"'The National Education Policy 2020 needs investment on priority from the budget and financial incentive to the EdTech sector including the abolition of GST of 18 per cent levied on the education sector for next five years,'' said Mr Nitin Potdar, Corporate Partner at J. Sagar Associates who leads the education practice of the firm. With online education and work-from-home protocol becoming the norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for digital infrastructure has increased across all social sectors of the country. (Also Read: Budget 2021: MSMEs Seek Short-Term Suspension Of Basel Norms, Prompt Payments )
''Budget 2021 is going to be extremely crucial for sectors like education because it would need to be rebooted in its entirety. COVID-19 has forced the embracing of digital technology education sector at all levels. This is an opportunity in disguise which cannot be missed to build digital infrastructure that would reach every student of India and fulfill the objective of right to education,'' added Nitin Potdar.
Meanwhile, earlier in the year 2020, the government had given a few signals of the budget allocation towards the education sector will be likely at six per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). Experts also believe that formalizing online education should be the government's priority in the upcoming budget.
“The stakeholders are eyeing the Budget 2021 with a lot of expectations as the government has already signalled allocation of six per cent of the GDP towards education. This can be a healthy start towards strengthening the sector. Aligning with it, we expect the government to introduce a framework for formalizing online education coupling it with exhaustive provisions for bridging the digital divide between both ends of the education value chain,'' said Mr Rohit Gajbhiye, Founder, Financepeer, a Google incubated Edu fintech startup.
While the government had given signals of the GDP allocation towards the sector to be at six per cent of GDP, experts demand that the allocation should increase to 10 per cent.
''Reducing gaps in quality of education between rural and urban areas has to be on the priority list and technology is pivotal for that. We are also expecting the government to lay the ground for a gradual increase in the annual budget of education to 10 per cent of GDP to create an ecosystem for a vigorous research and development infrastructure in the education sector,'' added Mr Rohit Gajbhiye.