The Union Budget 2020 is all set to be announced on 1 February 2020, and the Government of India has invited suggestions from citizens regarding the same. “The Union Budget represents the aspirations of 130 crore Indians and lays out the path towards India’s development. I invite you all to share your ideas and suggestions for this year’s Budget on MyGov,” tweeted Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.
While several citizens are submitting their responses on MyGov website on the Union Budget 2020, industry experts have written to DataQuest stating their opinion and expectations from the upcoming budget. The opinion of one such expert regarding the education sector is as follows.
Union Budget 2020 Expectations from Sumeet Jain, Co-founder, Yocket
India has more than 600 million youth. Some of the major concerns for youth are education and employability. Employability issues again do stem from Education. With the technology layer, a lot of companies are trying to solve this education-employability issue and it is high time the government gives due recognition and boost to this sector. If the government doesn’t pay attention here, the demographic dividend that India is expecting to benefit from might just turn into a major liability.
GST reduction on online courses and career counselling
Currently, all the services are under the 18% bracket. Educational courses, as well as career counselling, are under this high tax bracket. Wrong career choices can be a big burden on the country. By reduction in tax on these courses and counselling will encourage more people to seek professional help. A lot of reskilling courses are being taxed at 18%; this needs to be reduced as well.
Scholarships for the higher education fund
The government should set up good scholarship funds for meritorious students to study abroad in top universities. For the GDP target of $5T, India will require a huge number of highly skilled workforce. The Indian higher education system is not poised to provide this in a short period of time, the only way is to use the infrastructure of the developed education systems abroad.
Education Loan availability
Education loan is more expensive than a car loan. The budget should look at subsidizing education loans. Maximum unsecured loans by banks for studying abroad is Rs 7.5 Lakhs. This is too low considering the cost of education. Also with a liquidity crisis among the NBFCs, the ROI has increased considerably. Some immediate steps to reduce the ROI on education loan is extremely necessary
More conversation with the industry
Higher education has been regulated and very outdated. Government institutes have funds but have not kept up the pace with technology. Regular conversation with edtech companies with help. There is a big gap currently among the edtech companies and the government institutes. More conversation can make both works in tandem.
Recognition and Boost to online courses
Online courses are not well recognised yet. With high unemployability, it is these online short term courses, which will fill in the skill gap. The government needs to boost them. Many international universities are providing courses online, some boost to Indian companies which are helping to get these courses to India.