Education activists upset with Budget

Prajakta Joshi
Saturday, 2 February 2019

“Everywhere, education and health receive maximum spending. However, in our country, it is among the least. Nobody understands the priority,” education activist Vivek Velankar said.

PUNE: While the National Education Mission received allocation of Rs 38,572 crore, education activists are disappointed as there is almost no mention of special allocations or projects for school education in the Union Budget 2019.

Considering the government’s promises in promoting skill-based education and the much-discussed lack of trained teachers in the schools, it was expected the Budget will address these aspects.

“Everywhere, education and health receive maximum spending. However, in our country, it is among the least. Nobody understands the priority,” education activist Vivek Velankar said.

Mukund Kirdat, RTE activist, AAP Palak Union, said, “Every Budget has a section on education with specific programmes. It is surprising nothing of the sort was included this time. While progress is seen in primary education in terms of students’ enrolment and merit, there is a lot to be done for secondary education. Skill training  has to be instilled right from school-level.”

Expressing disappointment, Ravindra Talpe, tribal activist, said all that can now be done is wait for the regular Budget. “This Budget was made totally in political interest. I still believe that education should not be neglected even in an interim budget,” he added.

Parent activist Anubha Sahai of India Wide Parents Association said almost all departments in the education sector cite lack of funds and manpower, and yet, the Budget has no concrete provisions.

LOWER FUNDS FOR IITS
The Budget  envisaged a national programme on ‘Artificial Intelligence’, which would be catalysed by establishment of National Centre on Artificial Intelligence. Nine priority areas were identified and a National Artificial Intelligence portal will be developed soon. While this new initiative has been proposed, there has been decline in the funds allocated to the IITs, IISERs, IIMs and statutory and regulatory bodies like University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

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