15,000 New Schools to Strengthen NEP 2020, Funds Raised for ST, SC Students, Says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman; Read Key Announcements


Education Budget 2021-22 has been presented today (February 1), by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as part of the Union Budget. The budget proposes setting up 15,000 new schools and to enhance other developments of National Translation Mission, as per National Education Policy introduced in 2020. Read the details below.

She asserted, “More than 15,000 schools will be qualitatively strengthened to include all components of the National Education Policy. They shall emerge as exemplar schools in their regions, hand-holding and mentoring other schools to achieve the ideals of the Policy.” Through her third budget, FM Sitharaman announced welfare of tribal community students, raising funds of unit cost to INR 38Cr from INR 20 Cr since 2020.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions thereafter, the Education Budget 2021 is expected to set the path for revival to contend with 7.7% economic contraction of the past year. The Budget this year rests on 6 major pillars among which, Education Budget 2021 forms the fourth pillar: “Reinvigorating Human Capital”. Additionally, in view of the newly introduced NEP 2020, economists and policy-making entities anticipate fiscal stimulus packages. 

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Education Budget 2021: Key Highlights

  • 15,000 schools to be set up including all the components of National Education Policy. 
  • Such schools will be developed across all regions in the country to handhold other schools in implementing new policies.
  • 100 new Sainik Schools to be founded in collaboration with NGOs, private schools and state governments.
  • Union Budget 2019-20 mentioned the development of a Higher Education Commission in India. The legislation regarding the same will be introduced this year.
  • The Higher Education Commission will stand as an umbrella body for 4 major functionalities namely, setting up standards, accreditation, regulation and funding. 
  • The Higher Education Commission will be set up in 9 cities to ensure higher education institutions in the country which are managed by the Central government maintain better synergy.
  • However, such monitoring will be exercised retaining the autonomy of such institutions. 
  • For higher education in Ladakh, Central University will be founded in Leh.
  • For tribal community welfare, Education Budget 2021 proposes 750 Eklavya model residential schools in tribal areas. Unit cost for each school to be raised to 38 Cr from INR 20 Cr of last year. In the hilly areas, the unit cost to be levied has been raised to INR 48 Cr.
  • Post Matric Scholarship scheme revamped for scheduled caste students and made efforts to improve assistance from the Central Government in this regard. INR 35,219 Cr till 2025-26 to benefit 4 Cr scheduled caste students. 

Earlier, Union Education Minister announced listing 300 tasks for implementation of NEP 2020. From rectifying the quality of school education to higher education departments, his ministry will focus on all deliverables across the country. Their top priority is to focus on holistic examination, strengthening teacher education programs. This will foresee development inNational Curriculum Framework for ECCE and the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) mission.

Education Budget 2021: Skill Development for Technical Students 

National Apprenticeship Scheme introduced in 2016, will be revised to enhance opportunities for students. The scheme will be realigned with Post Training Apprenticeship for the training of graduates and diploma holders in engineering. Over INR 3000 Cr will be invested for this purpose. 

  • A collaboration with UAE is underway to set a benchmark for skill development through assessment and certification along with the deployment of a certified workforce.
  • Inter-collaborative program with Japan has been proposed to facilitate the transfer of Japanese industrial training, vocation, techniques and knowledge transfer. This initiative will be further extended with other countries thereafter.

Union Education Budget 2021: Focus on Regional Languages

In line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, measures will be adopted to emphasise on creating and delivering content in regional languages. The initiative in this regard is the National Language translation mission. Through this mission, the Government of India will focus on translating all policy-related information or knowledge texts that are available on the internet in regional languages. 

Education Budget 2021: Innovation and R&D

As declared in the Union Budget 2019-20, National Research Foundation modalities have been worked out. The Union Budget 2021 proposes INR 50,000 Cr be provided over a period of 5 years. This is to ensure strengthening of research ecosystem in the country and identify the national priority trust areas. 

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