Budget 2022 anticipates change, a new beginning, opportunities for education sector

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, February 05, 2022, 12:04 PM IST
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Building on the learnings from the pandemic, the revival of syllabi in agricultural universities and support for developing the agri-tech universities is welcome./Representative Photo |

The budgetary allocation to Ministry of Education witnessed a jump of 11.86 percent which is 11053.41 cr from FY 2021-22. In the Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, made several announcments: formation of a digital university to provide access to world-class education to Indian students, digital learning, new e-learning content delivery platforms among others.

Education sector experts shared their views:

Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services

The Union Budget FY2022-23 is growth-oriented and has put the much-needed impetus on digital education boosting the penetration of learning where online education is still not accessible. To effectively bridge the learning gap created due to the pandemic, efforts such as setting up of the digital university, providing high-quality e-content, expansion of ‘One class, one TV channel’ under the PM e-Vidya scheme, equipping teachers with digital tools, creating virtual labs, promoting critical thinking will not only improve learning outcomes but will also provide students access to world-class universal education with a personalized learning experience at their doorsteps.

Adi Rishabh Jain, VP, Swarrnim Startup & Innovation University

The Budget 2022 presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been progressive and digitally inclusive by making 'Digital India' a reality in all sectors. The Budget for this year anticipates change, a new beginning, and new opportunities in 2022. Given the ongoing pandemic and globalization trajectory, the 'Digital University' initiative would undoubtedly accelerate educational transformation. However, it would be prudent to consider challenges to this transformation, such as enabling students to transition from being entirely offline to online. The launch of the Digital DESH e-portal and the re-orientation of skilling programs for our youth will increase efficiency and provide career opportunities.

Akshay Chaturvedi Founder & CEO, Leverage Edu

I believe the 2022 Budget is focused around smart digital expenditures in not just education, but across sectors! A very forward-looking budget in my opinion that will enable startups take lead in India's next phase of development. Introduction of the e-passport facility will decrease friction in the immigration process and I look forward to Indians getting access to such world-class tech. Lastly, steps like capping off long-term capital gains at 15% clearly position this as a document which heard and implemented feedback from all quarters, and that’s amazing!

Akshay Munjal, Founder, and CEO, Hero Vired

We welcome the government's thrust towards upskilling the youth and digitization in the Union Budget FY'23 announced today. While we were hoping for the rationalization of 18 percent GST in online education services and some tax rebate online learning programs, we are excited to see the government adopt a collaborative strategy that allows world-class universities to offer courses in financial services and technology free of Indian regulations in the GIFT city. Moreover, it is heartening to see that the Budget also included steps for the empowerment of teachers, enabling them to facilitate better learning outcomes.

Anand Maheshwari, Managing Director, Allen Digital Pvt. Ltd

Glad to see an overarching focus on encouraging paperless and digital advancements in the Union Budget 2022. Right from using a tablet to read out the Budget to regarding Startups as the growth driver for economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a wide spectrum of progressive announcements across sectors. As most of the schools and other educational institutions have chosen for online classes due to the third wave of the pandemic, the digital divide further increases. By introducing ‘One Class One TV Channel’ program by PM eVIDYA, and with fibre optic connectivity for last mile digital reach in villages, the government is trying to shorten the digital divide. It’s a great move as this will also enable all states to provide supplementary education, even in regional languages for classes 1 to 12. By developing digital universities that provide world-class quality education with ISTE Standards, the govt. is also encouraging EdTech start-ups to flourish.

Amit Ratanpal, Founder & MD, BLinC Invest, India-based Venture Capital firm committed to funding EdTech and FinTech startups

With Budget 2022, the government has clearly taken a stride in the right direction to support inclusion of technology in the education and financial services sectors. With initiatives like digital DESH e-portal, digital university, digital currency, and credit extension to MSMEs coupled with ease of doing business, increasing the penetration of EdTech and FinTech products to the masses will be the key area of focus for the coming years. However, a closer alignment with the budget allocation as per the New Education Policy would have added significantly to the current momentum in the EdTech sector.

Amit Agrawal, Founder and CEO, OckyPocky

Its an incredible hi five moment for India and edtech startups - with Union Budget 2022-23 which focuses heavily on empowering students and the youth through key educational and mental health reforms. Whats however missed is any focus on early childhood education. Finally, taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19 on public mental health, the budget has allocated funds towards a national tele-mental health program for mental health counselling, a move much needed for everyone, including students who have been physically deprived of schools, peers, teachers, and friends for over 2 years now.

Ashraf Patel, Co-founder, Pravah and ComMutiny

We are glad to see efforts being made to address some of the major concerns plaguing young India by focusing on digitization of education and skilling and improving access to mental healthcare in the Union Budget 2022. The government's initiative of setting up the 'One Class, One TV Channel' programme and a Digital University, will help increase digital literacy. While, the National Tele Mental Health Programme is a step towards helping the youth dealing with mental health issues brought on by the pandemic, there is also a need for greater allocation of resources towards wellbeing in the education sector that strengthens psychosocial programming and enables young people to deal with the effects of COVID on their own wellbeing and societal wellbeing at large.

Balasundaram Athreya Business Head, Manipal MedAce & Sr. VP, Manipal Global Education Services

Overall, this year's Budget appears to be forward-looking, building on ongoing efforts to aid in implementing the National Education Policy. The vision of Budget 2022 for the Education sector's modern outlook and approach will open opportunities towards reinvigorating digital empowerment and paving a roadmap for India's advancement. It is reassuring to see that the Digital University's 'hub and spoke' model intends to deliver classes in all regional languages; it is a commendable step towards strengthening digital infrastructure and training and is key to achieving real progress in the education sector.

Charu Noheria, Co-Founder & COO, Practically

The Union Budget is definitely a step ahead for the education sector laying emphasis on digitalization. From announcing "One Class, One TV" programme, to focusing on finding innovative ways to creating a simulated learning environment, we as a nation are headed in the right direction. Additionally, creating high quality e-content and introducing Digital Universities will definitely see this sector scale to new heights.

Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Generation Unlimited (YuWaah) and Youth Development and Partnerships at UNICEF

The Union Budget's focus on imparting supplementary education and building a resilient system for imparting education and skills is commendable. Skilling programs will be done in partnership with the industry, and the National skills qualification framework will be aligned with the dynamic needs of society. We applaud this step and propose a case for engaging with young people as indispensable partners from the conceptualization and planning stage, putting them at the centre for developing policies aimed at them. The government's focus on digital equality, particularly for the most marginalized young people, such as young women, people with disabilities, and young people in rural and remote areas, is a welcome move, given the learning loss we witnessed post-pandemic. Initiatives of setting up Digital DESH ePortal, 'One Class, One Channel' under eVIDYA, and a Digital University will help young people access future skills and economic opportunities (jobs and entrepreneurship), contributing to nation-building and societies' collective wellbeing.

Dr. Ajeenkya DY Patil, President, Ajeenkya DY Patil University, and Chairman of the DY Patil Group

I am glad to see the measures announced today in the Union Budget by our finance minister to improve the digital infrastructure and investment in e-learning as well as skill-based educational content that is delivered digitally. E- Vidya initiative demonstrates the critical need for supplementary education and the measures around 5G and digitisation should facilitate highly flexible learning opportunities to all students across the country.

Dr. Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management, Shahani group and CEO, Ask.Careers

Considering the experience of e-learning in the pandemic, it is good that the government is seriously looking at integrating online technology to make our education system more inclusive for the less-resourced segments of the population. However, it is important to realise that online technology is no substitute for good quality brick and mortar schools and colleges, as many students have fallen behind over the last 2 years of the lockdown. So, it would have been important for the government to have focussed on efforts to train more teachers and support the building of more institutions.

Another good initiative is the increased focus on skilling and upskilling to improve employability among our youth. Along with the new skill-oriented National Higher Qualification Framework being issued by the UGC, I see better integration between the academic & vocational streams of education. Allowing foreign university campuses to set up in Gujarat's GIFT city will hopefully be an interesting pilot initiative that could encourage foreign universities to expand into other Indian states. A couple of initiatives that were not addressed was the reduction of GST rates for Edtech services & allowing private for-profit investment into India's schools and colleges, which could have greatly helped expand quality education across India.

Dr. Jaskiran Arora, Dean-School of Management, BMU

The hub-and-spoke model has traditionally been used in the supply chain and logistics in the transport sector, aviation to be precise. In this model a “centralised” hub exists and the dispatch or collection to the end consumers is channelised through the spokes, for better efficiencies in the business. The hub-and-spoke model in education sector would not only assist by hosting the lectures of such teachers and professors at a central point for a better reach but could also benefit a greater number of students by streaming them in multiple languages. Aspirationally, the flagship programs of so many educational institutions in science, arts, architecture, fintech, liberal arts, commerce, medicine, management etc, could be made available to anyone passionate to pursue the course. This model will also ensure a better tracking of the student engagement at the different platforms.

Dr Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International Education Group

As expected the government has a well-thought plan to reduce the digital learning gap between the urban and rural by introducing ‘1-Class-1-TV channel” covering multiple regional languages, which will not only counter the learning losses but will bridge the learning gap. The PM’s e-Vidya will be further expanded from 12 to 200 channels to facilitate supplementary learning. For the implementation of NEP 2020 great stress is implied on shifting the focus on Upskilling, therefore the launch of Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling and reskilling will be the key to newer dynamics. To develop the 21st century skills of critical thinking amongst students setting up of virtual labs and skilling e-labs will be valuable. To enable quality learning for each child quality e-content will be made through various means. Teachers will be trained to use better e-teaching outcomes and enhancement of learning experiences. Huge focus was laid on e-services in rural areas, it is proposed that all the villages will be laid with optical fibres by 2025, and villages will be at par with the urban areas.

Dr Manoj Singh, CEO, RUBIKA India

The Budget should also have more initiatives like the National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) so that skill-oriented courses like animation and design can be introduced at all school levels in view of the growing demand in the creative industries such as AVGC, Media, Advertising, PR, Communication etc. additionally, the government must also look at capacity building by encouraging institutions/ universities offering such creative courses. The Budget must also extend some sort of financial support to private sector institutions, such as low-cost loans. Such initiative has already been taken in many countries and has encouraged private institutes to adopt new ways of teaching and offer innovative courses to the students. The budget should also consider ‘National Education Bank’ as a concept, just like the ‘National Housing Bank,’ so that education loans can be provided at the lowest possible interest rate.

Himanshu Gautam, Co-founder and CEO, Safalta Education

The 2022 budget’s approach on aligning education with employability resonates with our vision. The National skill qualification framework will be of great help for right kind of talent creation for actual industry needs, on which Safalta contributes through its skill courses. We also aim to contribute to the government’s vision of providing supplementary education in regional languages for students of class 9-12th. Safalta provides affordable, high-quality education through vernacular pedagogy for students of semi urban and rural India.

Prof (Dr.) Y.S.R. Murthy, Founding Vice-Chancellor, RV University, Bengaluru

We welcome the Union Budget presented by the finance minister. The focus on education sector will augur well for the country and put it firmly on the growth path over the next 25 years. The Digital DESH, Digital University initiative, One-Class-One channel through PM eVidya initiative for supplementary education in regional languages for rural development will ensure learning continuity during these troubled times. The 5G auction next year and fibre optic connectivity for last mile digital reach in rural areas will ensure inclusive growth. Overall, this is a growth-oriented budget with progressive initiatives. We are confident it will help revive our economy and lead to sustainable growth in the years to come.

Mayank Kumar, Co-founder and MD, upGrad

Extending the Digital India mission to strengthen online education, the government’s plans to launch a Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling, and reskilling of the youth is a significant move and is in sync with the evolving times. The newly announced Budget is very new age as it talks about establishing digital universities which in turn, shall accelerate quality output within the country. We welcome the introductions, as upGrad is equally focused towards driving maximum career outcomes for its learners and such initiatives will further support our mission. Clearly, accessibility and quality education are at the centre of GoI’s initiatives which assures that we are moving in the direction of achieving the United Nations SDGs, as a nation. Innovative mechanism for imparting knowledge, teacher's training programs, and high-quality regional content for e-learning will be the focus areas for us and we are glad to see the national support towards the sector.

Nitish Jain, President – S P Jain School of Global Management

From the standpoint of higher education, the budget is headed in the correct path by focusing on improving the digital infrastructure in the country. Moving ahead, the execution, and how quickly these things move will be the most important factors to watch. Education is what propels the economy and the country forward, and I am confident that Budget 2022 will go a long way toward ensuring that education remains at the top of our country's priorities.

Piyush Bhartiya, Co-Founder & CEO of Admitkard - Edtech for higher education abroad

The Budget has been very much in line with the latest trends and changing paradigm in the education system. We are glad that the government is promoting digital education in India. The budget mentioned the launch of a nationwide digital university, which might be the answer to the long prevailing gaps in the higher education system. What initially started as a result of the global lockdown, has now been acknowledged as the probable solution to the difficulty of accessing higher education in the country where 65 percent of the population resides in the rural region. Simultaneously, stressing on Higher education will reflect in the next generation's culture and quality of skill-set in the employment market.

Prajodh Rajan, Co-founder and Group CEO, Lighthouse Learning

The implementation of One Class One TV Channel program of PM eVIDYA to be expanded from 12 to 200 channels, should help mitigate the learning loss our children have endured during the past two years as schools remain closed. This will definitely support supplementary education in regional languages for students across classes 1 to 12. A boost in the digital infrastructure across the country is essential and the mention of the completion of 5G spectrum auction in 2022-2023 will certainly help enable education institutions to attain the much needed learning outcomes. The Digital DESH e-portal set to be launched will help the youth in skilling, upskilling and reskilling so that they are ably employed and can contribute to the country’s economic growth. We will soon be a super-energised and digitised economy!

Puneet K , President, The Narayana Group

We are glad to see the government taking progressive steps in the direction of universal education. The Union Government has taken the learning losses caused by COVID-19 into cognisance. This is reflected in the 16 percent increase in overall outlay for School Education and 25 percent increase in the allocation for Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). The focus on multi-lingual dissemination of digital education in the budget is heartening. We look forward to hearing more on the competitive framework for development of high-quality e-content. Local access to good schooling and quality teachers supported by excellent digital content will significantly increase the impact of education on students’ futures. A collaborative effort leveraging the strengths of the government and the private education sector can move the country towards more equitable educational solutions. Digital university and virtual skilling labs are also great ideas where the knowledge pool can be increased by incentivising private institutes and even industries to be involved.

Rajeev Tiwari, Co-Founder, Stemrobo Technologies

Although what we had expected from the Budget hasn’t been addressed but we should look on the positive side, One Tv One channel programme of PM eVIDYA the government is definitely somewhere trying to mitigate the learning losses which students had to face due to covid induced lockdowns and the content through regional languages would circumvent the language barrier, ensuring the knowledge has no limitations. What should be noted is that the govt did emphasize on the digital adoption through its E-content delivering mechanism, imparting knowledge through various mass media is something that govt should be applauded for. But it would have been great if the special attention had been on the training of teachers with adequate resources and the leveraging of technology should have been more emphasized, as education is one of the important pillars for the upliftment of the society. The Budget did touch some important areas but what the real picture comes out on the ground would help us to get into the crux of the issue.

Ramya Venkataraman, founder & CEO, CENTA (Centre for Teacher Accreditation)

This year's Union Budget has proposed some big thrusts on education since it was one of the most impacted sectors in the COVID-19 pandemic, with schools remaining shut for over two years. The digital university announced in the budget can help students access great teachers from anywhere. This should be done in a public-private partnership mode for rapid implementation and supported by certified teachers from local communities, to provide direct inputs where needed. Such a hybrid 'hub and spoke' network can help impart world-class education to the most needy segments".

The PM eVIDYA scheme's 'one class, one TV programme' initiative is an interesting effort to deliver educational programming via radio and DTH channels to people without internet access. The quality of explanations and associated support for doubts will play a big role in making this successful.

Ravi Panchanadan – MD & CEO Manipal Global Education Services

The focus of the Union Budget 2022-23 was to strike a fine balance between fiscal prudence and growth support. The expectations from this year's Budget were to revive investments and boost the employability market. The reorientation of all skilling programs to align with the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) and focus on new-age courses across infrastructure, finance and technology will help address current industry needs. Building on the learnings from the pandemic, the revival of syllabi in agricultural universities and support for developing the agri-tech universities is welcome. There is also a focus on clean energy and solutions enabling positive climate actions.

RCM Reddy, MD & CEO, Schoolnet India Ltd

The government's enhanced focus on education in this year’s Union Budget signals a welcome shift in policy priorities, backed by a substantial increase of almost 12 percent in allocations from last year. This is an acknowledgement of the large-scale impact of the pandemic on schools. A focus on digital learning, as well as the provision of enhanced learning aids through the PM e-Vidya scheme, will give a new impetus to strengthening the school education system. Affordable Private Schools, which cater to nearly half the schoolgoing population, also need to be included in the scope of activities to achieve meaningful outcomes.

Ruchir Arora, CEO & Co-Founder, CollegeDekho

The government’s continued focus on building a quality higher education ecosystem is encouraging. The reforms allowing foreign universities in India to offer courses free of domestic regulations and the introduction of a Digital University will help bring industry best practices enabling the students with better job opportunities. Also, Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) sectors are very popular with the younger generation and have great potential for employability. It's great to see the government realise this and focus on building domestic capacity to serve both our markets and the global demand. This will further push the popularity of emerging technologies and business models among the youth fueling our country’s vision of a Digital India.

Rishabh Khanna, Cognitive Scientist and Co-founder of Suraasa-teacher growth-focussed ed-tech platform

Accessibility to quality learning is a huge challenge for the country, especially in the digital mode of delivery. I think that the Digital University and 'One Class One TV Channel' are very thought through ideas to ensure that no children are left behind due to language, resource, or digital barriers. Skilling and Upskilling have been the talk of the EdTech town for the longest time (for all the right reasons) and it's great to see the government working towards that too. The FM also talked about teachers being trained to be able to deliver quality learning outcomes to students. I think that is one of the most important components of the education system since a trained teacher has the potential to transform lives of many children and create impact at scale. I am excited to witness the implementation of proposed initiatives and how they impact education across the country.

Sanjay Padobe, President, Vijaybhoomi University

Union Budget 2022 and the other policy pronouncements by MHRD and UGC have laid a clear direction. The sector has been not only allocated 12 percent more resources but also taken necessary steps to operationalize the National Education Policy (NEP). An example of the policy intent is the draft National Higher Educational Qualification Framework (NHEQF) which seeks to bring job readiness to constitutional values, theoretical knowledge to technical skills, higher education institutes across the country under a new framework to assess students on a range of learning outcomes. As President of India’s first liberal professional university, I feel that the budget and higher education policy of our country is nudging the universities to graduate from degree-granting institutions to temples of holistic learning.

Sameer Nigam, CEO and CoFounder, Stratbeans

Through the Union Budget 2022, the government has addressed the importance of youth skilling in our country, just as we had predicted. By launching the DESH-Stack ePortal, the government is focusing on upskilling and reskilling individuals through online training, which is a critical need. By encouraging individuals to find suitable employment and providing them with entrepreneurial opportunities, this initiative will prove to be the right step in propelling the country to greater heights. More initiatives like this are needed to promote ongoing skill development, sustainability, and increased employee productivity and performance.

Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder & Director, SuperBot (PinnacleWorks)

The government has insisted on the development of digital infrastructure. Especially, in the education sector, the government has realised the need for a nationwide eVidya programme and digital university. This also opens prospects for new age tech startups to collaborate and contribute in establishing a robust digital infrastructure along with the government. New businesses have been leveraging technologies like AI, machine learning and data analytics, and have presented successful implications which might come handy in enabling the national education projects.

Shreya Reddy, Director - Finance and Administration, CMR University, Bengaluru

We see that there is emphasis on the deeper penetration of the PM eVidya scheme to reach a relatively wider populace. With the expansion in the number of TV channels (from 12 to 200), it should now be easier for States to provide supplementary education in their respective regional language from classes 1 to 12. This is a right step towards ensuring that basic education reaches all; even in the midst of varying COVID-19 situations. The Budget has also highlighted the union government's focus on establishing a Digital University which is expected to make e-content accessible to a wide majority of the Indian populace through smartphones, tablets, and computers. This could lead to a deeper penetration of technology especially in the tier-2 and tier-3 regions of the country where technology access has been comparatively limited when compared to urban areas. With the Finance Minister having announced that 5 existing urban planning institutions would be upgraded as centres of excellence, backed by AICTE's expertise, for better equipping tier-2 and tier-3 regions in India to drive the next wave of economic growth; we can clearly see ample scope for research on urban planning and policy formulation in the near future.

Siddhartha Gupta, CEO, Mercer Mettl

Aligning Skill programs with Industry is very positive news. Another welcome move is to re-look the national skill qualification framework (NSQF). This will further improve the Skill levels of youth and their ability to get jobs. The launch of Digital University recognizes the role Tech would play in keeping education disruption less in the future. An announcement in this direction augurs well for the edtech startups which have recognized this gap and are trying to innovate and transform the segment.

Shishir Miglani,Founder, Kidzpreneur -edutech

Union Budget 2022 appears progressive and forward-looking for the education sector. The industry lauded the rolling out of E-content under PM e vidya that facilitates education in regional languages as a big step in encouraging education at all times and in developing ed-tech as well. As the budget mentioned, the proposed scheme aims to provide a basic education setup to girls and children who can't afford internet accessibility. This is a welcome move as it will help to serve the purpose of access and availability of education to all strata of society.

Sonali Khan, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop India

I think it’s a great step to extend “One class One tv” to 200 channels. It will reduce the inequity in access to education for children without the internet and digital infrastructure while also making the content available to them in their local language. A National tele mental health program to support the mental wellbeing of families and revamp of 2 lakh Aanganwadi centers also holds strong relevance considering the impact the closure of schools and the pandemic has had on the lives of people. It will be good to link this back to the operationalization of NEP 2020’s compulsory education for children starting 3 years of age as part of the budget, who have been severely impacted by the pandemic in the most crucial way.

Sumeet Mehta Co-Founder and CEO, LEAD

Overall, this has been a progressive Budget as it accelerates the government’s efforts towards inclusive and sustainable development. As an educator, I welcome the emphasis on creating digital and free-to-air channels of education. However, at the same time, the Budget appears to circumvent physical schooling. I sincerely hope that is not the case. While online learning was inevitable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it would never be as effective as offline learning, which brings out the best in students in terms of learning outcome and performance. Online education can at best only play a supplementary role in education. I would have also loved to see a greater focus on improving the teaching and learning processes in our schools vis-a-vis infrastructure and tech-enabled curriculum. Going forward, I hope there will be policy changes in that direction.

Swapnil Dharmadhikari, Director & Founder, Splashgain Technology Solutions

The launch of the Digital DESH e-portal for the skilling, upskilling & reskilling for youth will strengthen access to quality education for the underserved and economically weaker sections of our society. A digital university being developed to provide students with world-class quality education with ISTE Standards will help students to learn by being in comfort, from anywhere. This is an encouraging first step towards the future of this country, with initiatives towards the digitalization of Indian educational institutions. Expanding the PM eVidya scheme from 12 to 200 channels will bring in a regional inclusion for students across the country, and the move is applaud-worthy.

Tara Singh Vachani, Managing Trustee, Max India Foundation 2.0

Extremely pleased to hear about the increased budget allocation in the education sector from Rs. 88,002 crores to Rs. 1.04 lakh crores. It’s a much awaited and welcome move. Initiatives like the ‘One class, one TV channel’ program of PM eVIDYA to expand from currently 12 to 200 TV channels will be a path-breaking step in bridging the digital divide and the learning loss that the pandemic has caused. On the other hand, providing supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1 to 12 will be fruitful in ensuring inclusive learning for the children of the country.

Ujjwal Singh, CEO and President, Infinity Learn

The extension of the PM eVIDYA initiative 12 to 200 TV channels will give the segment the requisite boost. Further, the availability of regional language educational modules from Class 1 to 12 will enhance the literacy rates in India’s hinterlands, over and above the metro cities. This will serve as the driver of socio-economic change, enabled through technology. Education specifically has taken a new direction that has made technology-based learning, whether online or blended, indispensable for our education systems. Digital learning holds the potential to empower the country’s grassroots level population through democratised access to education, thereby facilitating continued learning sans infrastructural challenges, pan-India.

Vishwastam Shukla, CTO at HackerEarth

The digital university announced by the finance minister has the potential to make education more accessible and democratic, and bridge class divides that exist among students from Tier 1, 2, and beyond. This ensures skill and aptitude are given priority over mere pedigree and geographical advantages. Too often, in the developer world, it is seen that good talent falls by the wayside when compared to a good ‘resume’. A digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood can, in theory, provide many with the access to learn coding and explore other technologies. Self-taught coders are on the rise, and comprehensive and skilling programs aligned with the industry can improve the tech talent pool across the country, helping us stay ahead. In theory, skill assessment functionality will only add to the future readiness of the company’s youth. In practice, it will be interesting to know how the API-based skill credentials and payment layers will function.

Rohit Gajbhiye, CEO, Financepeer

The budget balances out both the short-term and long-term requirements of the country. Focus on Funds mobilization, Financial Inclusion, Modernization of Education infrastructure and curriculum, Special impetus for Startups and Entrepreneurship are some of the biggest takeaways from this budget. Startups have been given special recognition which reflects the government’s intent of building a conducive environment for business and entrepreneurship.

Financial inclusion initiates will benefit banks and NBFCs if appropriate infrastructure is provided. Digital Banking and fintech emphasis, when combined with efforts to make conducting business easier, will further provide momentum to the already-growing fintech space. The initiation of 75 digital banks across the country will strengthen the foundation of the fintech sector. The establishment of the digital university will push the edtech sector to the next level and widen the reach of the education sector. The announcements in the budget are the reflection of the growing significance of the fintech and allied sectors in the Indian economy.

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