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Dr. H Chaturvedi
Alternative President

Indiamay be lagging behind in the UN Human Development Index, 2015, but Union Budgetpresented by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, does not show adequatecommitment and financial allocation towards this malady.  The United Nations Human Development Report,2015 has ranked India on 130th position among 188 nations listed inthe UN HD Index.  Among BRICS countries,India is left behind by Russia, Brazil, China and South Africa.

Inthe 2016-17, Budget presented in Lok Sabha today there is no announcement aboutany massive outlay for education, health and social welfare.   Creation of a Higher Education FundingAgency (HEFA) has been announced with a fund of Rs.1,000 crore.  It looks that it will be mostly used forredressal of the problems of students seeking educational loan.  Current outstanding educational loans may bearound Rs.50,000 crore.  It is not clearthat how a fund of Rs.1,000 crore will resolve the massive requirements ofeducational loans.

Ithas been said that 62 more Navodaya Vidyalayalayas will be opened and a digitalliteracy scheme for rural India will be started.  There are no indications how millions ofgovernment schools will be improved to provide quality school education.  Right To Education (RTE) was launched in 2009with lot of noble expectations, but the RTE scheme is losing its steam due tohalf hearted implementation and lackluster execution.

DuringXII FYP, it was expected that Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) andRashitriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) will lift our school education andhigher education from the current stagnancy and will help our schools,universities and colleges to attain respectable standards.  The budget proposal does not talk about RTE,RMSA and RUSA.  Should we assume that nowthese schemes do not constitute our national will to ameliorate our educationsystem?

NDAGovernment has been giving emphasis on skill development since its formation; aprovision of Rs.1,700 crore has been made for setting up 1,500 multi skilltraining institutes.  It has beenannounced that 10 million youth will be provided skill training under PradhanMantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY) during 2016-19.  A Digital Literacy Scheme has also beenannounced in the budget to cover 60 million additional households.

Toconclude, it can be said that the Union Budget has missed another opportunity tolift Human Development Score of India by infusing sufficient funds for schoolsand higher education.  Indian youth areunder tremendous pressure due to lack of jobs which is an outcome of pooremployability prevailing in our education system.  The Union Budget may score good points insome parts but it is a disappointment for education sector at least.

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