New Delhi: Fellowships for 1,000 top BTech students for pursuing a doctorate, 24 new medical colleges and a new funding mechanism for higher education institutes were among the key initiatives in the education sector announced in the Union Budget 2018.
An outlay of Rs85,010 crore was made by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley for the education budget for the next fiscal. While Rs35,010 crore have been allocated for higher education, an amount of Rs50,000 crore has been earmarked for school education.
“We have managed to get children to school but quality of education is still a concern. Education will be treated holistically without segmentation from class nursery to 12th,” Jaitley said in his budget speech on Thursday.
The finance minister announced that the government will launch ‘Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education’ by 2022. “By 2022, every block with more than 50% ST (Scheduled Tribes) population and at least 20,000 tribal people will have ‘Ekalavya’ school at par with Navodaya Vidayalas,” Jaitley said.
Jaitley proposed setting up of two new full-fledged schools of planning and architecture and also 18 schools of planning and architecture to be set up under the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) as autonomous schools.
A ‘Prime Minister Fellowship Scheme’ was also announced for top 1,000 BTech students in the country to provide opportunity to the students to pursue a PhD in IITs and Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
“The students will also be rewarded with a handsome fellowship amount,” Jaitley said. To bridge the gap between doctor-patient ratio in the country, the finance minister proposed setting up of 24 new government medical colleges by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country.
“The government aims to set up at least one medical college for three Parliamentary constituencies,” he said. In a major reform move for the higher education sector, the government has also announced a new model for funding infrastructure in the centrally-funded higher educational institutions, calling on IITs, NITs and IIMs to pitch in with 25% of total funds needed.