Mr. Ninad Karpe, MD and CEO, Aptech Ltd. shares his take on the Budget 2016 recently announced by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
The recent Union Budget paved way for skilled and educated future of the country with the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announcing increased focus on the educational sector. With education and skill development being at the core of the nine-point agenda set forth by the current government, the FM announced several measures to bring “Make in India” and “Skill India” closer to reality.
The government wants 1 crore youth to be skilled in next three years. In this concern the government had also created a separate ministry for skill development and entrepreneurship last year. And in this year, the Finance Minister set aside Rs. 1,700 crore in the budget to set up 1,500 Multi Skill Training Institutes (MSTIs) across the country which will basically be the new generation ITIs set up in public private-partnership mode. He also envisions to set-up a regulatory architecture for ten public and ten private institutions which will emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions.
However, one of the imperatives announcements was creation of a digital depository to store school and achievement certificates of students. While the proposed digital depository for school leaving certificate is a welcome step, a central mechanism to validate certifications of skilled population would have been music to many ears. Such measures will arrest all issues connected to fake certificates, and is being called a ‘game-changer’; very akin to what the SEBI did to the stock markets.
The education industry, although, largely hailed the schemes, there are still murmurs of what could have been better.
For the last two budgets, there has been a growing demand for setting up a non-collateral based education financing agency to pragmatically further the idea of inclusive education. The social sector, therefore, is gung-ho about the decision of the government to develop a Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) with an initial capital base of Rs 1,000 crore which will leverage funds from the market and work to create infrastructure in India's top institutions like the IITs.
On the outset, the announcement has been marked as praiseworthy by the social sector which equivocally debated that funds allocated to the initiative leaves much to be desired. With the dwindling oil prices it is estimated that the exchequer would save approximately Rs 1.2 lakh crore. Quite understandably, it was a lifetime opportunity for the government to at least devote a half of it in the education and skill reforms. Nevertheless, such schemes will have huge effects on quality of education and also give improved access to a lot of students.
“This is pro-skill and employment budget with keen focus on the rural segment. It is noteworthy that the FM has shown increased focus on the social sector. Announcements such as 1,500 multi-skill training institutes with an impetus of Rs 1,700 crore, higher education financing agency with a capital of Rs. 1000 crore and the objective to skill 1 crore youth in the next 3 years under the Prandhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is praiseworthy. Moreover, extending tax relief for hiring unemployed with salaries below Rs. 25,000 to the corporate would provide a boost to job creation. While the proposed digital depository for school leaving certificate is a welcome step, a central mechanism to validate skilled population would have been music to many ears,” says Mr. Ninad Karpe, MD and CEO, Aptech Ltd.
- by Mr. Ninad Karpe, MD and CEO, Aptech Ltd.