Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday hailed the 11.86 per cent jump in the budget for the education sector as against last year and the "record allocation" of Rs 1.04 lakh crore. Mr Pradhan said the Union Budget for 2022-23 is inclusive, forward-looking and aspirational, and lays the foundation of 'Amrit Kaal' for the next 25 years.
"The Budget has made several direct interventions like announcing the setting up of a digital university, allowing foreign universities to run courses in GIFT City, launch of DESH-Stack e-portal and aligning Skill Qualification Framework with industry requirements. These interventions will improve and strengthen the education and skilling ecosystems in the country," he said.
"Efforts of the ministry to universalise quality education will gain strength with the setting up of a digital university and expansion of One Class-One TV Channel programme of PM e-VIDYA from 12 to 200 TV channels. Expansion of One Class-One TV Channel programme will enable all states to provide quality supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1-12," he added.
The overall financial allocation for the education sector for 2022-23 has increased to Rs 1.04 lakh crore from Rs 93,224 crore (Budget estimate) in 2021-22 with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman laying emphasis on digital modes of education to reverse learning losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The revised estimate for 2021-22 is Rs 88,001 crore.
A digital university to be built on the 'hub-and-spoke' model and expansion of 'one class-one TV channel' programme through 200 channels for providing supplementary education in regional languages in schools are among the major initiatives in the education sector proposed by Ms Sitharaman in her Budget speech on Tuesday.
Mr Pradhan also welcomed the emphasis that the Budget for 2022-23 has placed on enhancing the digital infrastructure in rural areas and the announcement of Vibrant Villages Programme, under which DTH access will be provided to Doordarshan and educational channels for villages in the northern border areas.
"The announcement for setting up of an animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics (AVGC) promotion task force to realise the potential of this sector is also a very welcome step. In addition to promoting the industry, this will also help in experiential learning," the minister said.
"Similarly, the decision to develop five existing academic institutions in different regions as centres of excellence in urban planning is a very forward-looking step. These centres will be provided endowment funds of Rs 250 crore each for developing India-specific knowledge in urban planning and design. AICTE will take the lead to improve syllabi, quality and access of urban planning courses in other institutions," he said.
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