Mr Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL)
“Coming in the wake of an ongoing pandemic, the Union Budget 2021-22 is a balanced and progressive Financial Bill that has done a commendable job of paying equal and adequate attention to all the key areas of development such as health and well-being, education, physical and financial capital, infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D.
The overarching promise and the overall direction set by this visionary budget is minimum government and maximum governance.
The Finance Minister has given a big boost to the implementation of the National Education Policy 2019 with several measures. Notable among them is the creation of an ‘umbrella’ structure for central higher education institutions in various cities. This will go a long way in creating standards, monitoring, and ensuring quality of pedagogy in higher education in the country. The government has demonstrated its commitment to qualitatively strengthen over 15,000 schools – as proposed in the new Education Policy.
The long term demand for opening more Sainik Schools across the country is finally met with the proposal of setting up 100 such schools across the country. Another highly appreciable move is to allow women to work in night shifts with adequate protection. The government is all for simplifying the compliance for companies in this regard. This is going to pave the way for more participation of women in the workforce in the organized sector and, to that extent, going to serve as an incentive for girls to pursue higher education and enter the world of work after graduation, which is not the case with most of the female graduates today.
The announcement to set up 750 Eklavya schools will no doubt speed up the mainstreaming of children from tribal communities, which is the need of the hour.
Other measures that will go a long way in scaling up higher education in the country are setting up of the National Language Translation Mission to translate policy-related information that will be available on the internet in regional languages; regional national institutes for virology; amending the Apprenticeship Act and a central University in Leh.
Budget 2021 is opening a new chapter in India’s education system and we welcome it wholeheartedly.”