Budget Expectations 2018
Allocation for education and career sector in 2018-19 Budget will be more compared to previous year to give thrust to rural employment generation, talent creation, agriculture and skill development. Since this will be that last Budget before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the budget will address some of the sectors which will be beneficial to students, unemployed youth and women. Even though major initiatives like Make in India, Skill India and Digital India can't provide envisaged number of employment, Niti Ayog Vice Chairman recently suggested that the year 2018-19 will focus more on new job creation.
General and higher education sector will get more allocation compared to 2017-18. Skill development will emerge as one of the flagship programmes to strengthen the career sector. There will be customised skill development programmes for matriculates, diploma holders, graduates, etc which will come under technical, supervisory and managerial programmes respectively. Allocation for Skill development and Entrepreneurship and NSDC will be higher in the forthcoming budget. More focus will be given to start up initiatives under Start up India, Standup India programme. Moreover, start-ups will get maintenance funds to make it sustainable which is prevalent in Israel. Allocation for innovation based technologies and innovation, and skill-based universities will be more in the budget.
Allocation for SANKALP (Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion) programme announced during the previous budget will be increased to more than '10,000 crore from current allocation of '4,000 crore. It will provide market relevant training to more than 10 crore youth. In order to monitor the quality of education, annual testing outcome process will be further augmented across the schools.
The National Testing Agency will be established for conducting entrance examinations including engineering. Entrance examination will be held similar to NEET model for engineering courses. Ministry of Human Resource Development's SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) software will be popularised and used for offering online courses under technology-enabled courses. DTH channels and SWAYAM software will be used for knowledge transfer and tuition among students and other potential stakeholders. Digitalisation and GST reforms will be further strengthened and will create employment opportunities in ecommerce, accounting, etc.
Industry interface will be given more focus in order to improve placement in technical education including engineering. AICTE will launch internship programme for engineering graduates. There will be more allocation for finishing schools, Pradhan Mantri Kousal Kendra Yojana and Skill Parks to improve the employability of students.
New National education policy will be launched and there will be control over regulatory bodies including University Grants Commission (UGC).
National Medical Commission will replace the existing Medical Council of India. Students pursuing medical education from non-English speaking countries like China, Russia, Ukraine, Philippines, etc are required to write PG NEET/Indian Medical Graduate Licensing Examination for getting MCI recognition.
The number of BTech seats in IITs will be increased to facilitate more number of girls to pursue for higher education in IITs. Over the years, number girls getting admitted to IITs reduced considerably. Considering the decreasing trend and to promote cutting-edge technology education among girls, Ministry of Human Resource Development decided to ensure more opportunities for girls. All the 23 IITs including Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, have to ensure 14 per cent of seats to girls from the existing level of six per cent. The total number of seats in all IITs will increase from the current level of 11,000 to around 11,600 during the academic year 2018-19.
There will be provision for Food and Dairy processing infrastructure fund which will provide better career opportunities for dairy and food processing sector. More sops to hospitality, IT, Tourism, Services, textile and footwear industry will create more employment opportunities in this sector. The decision to provide autonomy to more number of colleges will create substantial changes in the quality of education at the micro level. Medical, AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) postgraduate seats will be increased during the next financial year.
Private hospitals will get the provision for offering Diplomate of National Board (DNB) courses in order to popularise specialty cadre. In tune with the changes taking place across the world in advanced IT, Technologies, Automation, etc there will be more allocation for artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cyber security, machine learning, etc. Allocation for affordable housing will increase. It will facilitate pre fab construction which in turn will create more opportunities for mechanical engineers.
Manufacturing sector will create 20 per cent of the employment opportunities. Ecommerce advanced IT, food processing, hospitality, entrepreneurship, manufacturing and health sectors will emerge as the potential areas in the coming year. Dairy Processing infrastructure development fund announced in the budget 2017-18 to modernise the dairy industry including establishing of dairy processing sectors will be continued. Allocation for value addition and cold chain facilities including Sampada Yojana will create more number of employment opportunities in food processing sector.
In the higher education sector, the thrust will be for increasing Gross enrolment ratio among students within the age group of 18-23 years. Allocation for national institutions doing research in agriculture, science, technology, engineering, medicine, mathematics and management will be increased. IIMs will get the freedom to offer graduate and doctoral programmes. Allocation for interdisciplinary research, audiology and speech therapy and allied health sciences will witness spectacular increase during the forthcoming budget. International collaboration and twinning programmes between Indian and overseas institutions will see a steady growth.
In the changing scenario where automation and advanced IT started replacing the traditional sector, there is growing apprehension among students and parents on how employment opportunities can be increased further.