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Business News/ Budget / Opinion/  Budget empowers India’s next generation to succeed in the digital age
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Budget empowers India’s next generation to succeed in the digital age

There are many announcements towards continued formalization and digitalization of the economy, which bodes well for the digital future of India.

Empowering India’s next generation to succeed in the digital agePremium
Empowering India’s next generation to succeed in the digital age

The Union budget presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is a well-crafted balance of economic growth and fiscal discipline. The massive increase in the personal income-tax rebate limit—from 5 lakh to 7 lakh—will substantially boost consumption-led growth and act as an antidote to the subdued global economic environment. The capital investment outlay has been increased substantially by 33% to 10 trillion. This, along with the highest-ever allocation of 2.4 trillion to the Railways, will crowd-in more private investment and boost the virtuous cycle of investment and job creation.

The first budget of ‘Amrit Kaal’ (regarded as the best and most auspicious time to begin any new task in Vedic astrology) takes a large step forward in building India @100 as a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy. There are many announcements towards continued formalization and digitalization of the economy, which bodes well for the digital future of India. The twin inter-disciplinary missions of ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ are timely and will go a long way in establishing an effective AI ecosystem in India. PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will now include skill-based new age courses such as coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics, and drones, which will prepare the next generation to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

The allocation of more funds towards infrastructure development will help attract more foreign investment and create new job opportunities. On the other hand, the government’s emphasis on fiscal discipline will help create a stable and predictable investment environment. The budget takes a responsible approach to reducing government debt, and it is projected to lead to decreased government deficits over time. The revised estimate for the fiscal deficit in FY23 is 6.4 %, which adheres to the budget estimate. The deficit is now projected to come down to 5.9% of GDP in FY24, which means India remains firmly on the glide path, leading to a 4% fiscal deficit in FY26. The focus on social welfare and a renewed commitment to improving the ease of doing business will make India’s growth more inclusive and forward-looking. The government has proposed several initiatives aimed at improving the common person’s quality of life. In line with its commitment towards affordable housing, the outlay for PM Awas Yojana has been enhanced by 66%. By increasing the quantum and quality of investment in social safety net schemes, the budget aims to protect the most vulnerable segments of the population. Moreover, the budget’s transparency will increase trust between the government and the citizen.

The government’s sharp focus on education and skill development will be instrumental in shaping the future of India’s workforce. India has made significant strides in education and skill development in recent years. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 lays the foundation for a comprehensive and inclusive education system, with a focus on revamping all aspects of the education edifice of India. The gross enrolment ratio (GER) in schools and gender parity improved in FY22, reversing a declining trend from FY17 to FY19. School dropout rates have steadily declined for both girls and boys, attributed to schemes such as Samagra Shiksha, RTE Act, and PM POSHAN. The education infrastructure has improved, including the number of recognized schools, teachers’ availability, and basic facilities such as toilets, drinking water, and hand-washing facilities. The budget has proposed new initiatives such as teachers’ training through innovative methods and a new National Digital Library for children and adolescents for device-agnostic accessibility in the spirit of NEP 2020. By investing in cutting-edge digital public infrastructure, and nurturing an innovation-driven culture, India will be able to take full advantage of its demographic dividend and emerge as a major global player.

Overall, this budget enhances the strengths and addresses the key challenges facing the Indian economy. By focusing on growth with fiscal discipline, boosting consumption, promoting social welfare, and improving the ease of doing business, the government is taking the right steps towards sustainable and green growth. This budget will greatly contribute to the realization of India’s potential as a major player in the global economy and support sustainable and inclusive growth for all citizens.

Byju Raveendran is founder and CEO of Byju’s.

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Updated: 02 Feb 2023, 12:18 AM IST
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