In her budget speech, FM Nirmala Sitharaman stressed the positive reception of the National Education Policy 2020 and the government’s commitment to helping schools meet its objectives. 

  1. 15,000 schools will be qualitatively improved to ensure compliance with the provisions of the NEP.
  2. The government will also open 100 new Sainik schools in partnership with NGOs, various state government and the central government.  
  3. The finance minister committed to introducing legislation to establish the High Education Commission. The Commission will be an umbrella body with four separate vehicles: standard setting, accreditation, regulation and funding.
  4. The budget also proposes greater synergy between institutions in cities. Nine such cities will benefit from an umbrella structure that will encourage closer co-ordination. 

Furthermore, the government will set up a central university in Ladakh to improve access to quality higher education. As a targted policy for scheduled castes and tribes, the government will set up 750 new Eklavya schools. Their per unit cost will also be increased from the current INR 20 crore to INR 38 crore and INR 48 crores in hilly areas, respectively. Scholarship scheme will be revamped and make available INR 35,219 crore for six years (up to 2025-26) to benefit four crore schedule caste students. 

Towards skill development, the government will undertake targeted strategies. The National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme of 2016 will be enhanced to provide apprenticeship opportunities for students. INR 3,000 crores has been allocated towards this objective. India will also partner with the United Arab Emirates to benchmark skill qualifications. It has been undertaking collaborative training and inter-training programmes with Japan to promote healthier business practices and industrial skills. Such collaborations are soon going to be undertaken with other countries too. 

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Union Budget