Education Budget 2020 gets ₹99,300 crore allocation, new schemes introduced — including 'INSAT' to enroll Asian and African students

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, flanked by her deputy Anurag Thakur (L) and a team of officials, shows a folder containing the Union Budget documents, at Parliament in New Delhi.Photo/Manvender Vashist) (

  • The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated ₹99,300 crore to the education sector -- including ₹3,000 crore for the skill development initiatives.
  • This is a ₹4,500 crore rise from last year where the government allocated ₹94,800 crore towards the education fund.
  • Under the 'Study in India' programme, the government will introduce INSAT exam to enroll Asian and African students in Indian universities.
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The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated ₹99,300 crore to the education sector -- including ₹3,000 crore for the skill development initiatives -- as she announced the Union Budget on February 1, 2020.

This is a ₹4,500 crore rise from last year where the government allocated ₹94,800 crore towards the education fund — focusing on improving schools and higher education programmes.

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New reforms introduced

Sitharaman said that there have been over 200,000 new additions in the New Education Policy, which will be announced soon.

Come 2030, India will have the largest working age population in the world. Under the 'Study in India' programme, the government will introduce INSAT exam to enroll Asian and African students in Indian universities.

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In order to provide quality education to the under privileged, full-fledged online courses will be launched in India -- by the institutions featuring in the top 100 national rankings. Given the increasing global demand, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will also kickstart a 'bridge course' to reskill its teachers and nurses.

It will also introduce one-year internship for engineering students.

Almost 260 million people in India enroll into different courses each year, while another 60 million are deprived of access to education, according to the Right to Education Forum. This shows that the Indian education system needs a revamp. According to the government think tank Niti Aayog, India should increase the education expenditure to nearly 6% of the GDP over the next two years.

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Poor quality of education is one of the many risks that India faces — adding to its unemployment crisis. The total employment in the country declined by 9 million in the last seven years, since 2017.

As of July 2019, 1.5 million people gained skills and jobs, thanks to the country’s Skill India mission. However, this accounts for merely 21% of the total trainees — 7.2 million — who enrolled for the programme.


“India’s unemployment challenge is partly because of a low level of education, high dropout rates, labour market asymmetries, a mismatch between the supply of skills and demand and the high aspirations of young people,” K P Krishnan, former secretary of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, told IndiaSpend.
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This is primarily because of the lack of skills to match the changing needs of the digital world. “Lack of skills was evident in new age digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing. Shortage of these skill sets can be met by the government developing guidelines for various industries in order to create mandatory learning hours for employees — especially in the key growth sectors like IT, BFSI sectors,” Kamal Dutta, MD, Skillsoft told Business Insider.

Last Budget, Sitharaman announced a ‘Study in India’ programme, focussed to bringing foreign students to study in India’s higher education institutions. She also said that the government will also ensure industry relevant skill training for 10 million youth in India — building skills in technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Virtual Reality, 3D printing and Robotics. This too might see some allocation this budget.

Shortage of teachers
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India is short of teachers and skilled teachers are rarer to come by. As of now, the country has roughly 8.5 million teachers and only 19,000 teacher training institutes.

“If we are focussed on the right to education, the quality of education is equally important and the Govt may look to allocate budget to improve education facilities,” said Nivedita Das Gupta, India Country Head, Miracle Foundation India.

As of 2018, the country’s national capital Delhi government schools were recorded with 35,034 regular teachers. While the sanctioned strength was 64,096 — which is a shortage of nearly 45% of teachers.

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In August 2019, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) announced an initiative ‘ NISHTHA’ — National Initiative on School Teachers Head Holistic Advancement — to train over 4.2 million teachers across the country.

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