Emphasis on education, skills and research is valued
The focus on education, especially to supplement learning of what has been lost over the past two years due to the pandemic, has generated a lot of interest from educators. The Union Budget proposed to expand PM eVIDYA’s “One First Class TV Channel” program from 12 to 200 TV channels to provide education in regional languages to grades I-XII.
With the state already taking classes in students’ homes, teaching staff are wondering how the new proposal would play out.
“Tamil Nadu has been a pioneer in student home learning through Kalvi TV over the past couple of years. It remains to be seen how this budget announcement is implemented. The state government has shown interest in it. some time ago to create separate channels for students of different age groups which will also be helpful for English-speaking students in the state board,” said Patric Raymond, General Secretary of the Federation of Tamil Graduate Teachers Nadu.
Failure to revise the income tax cap despite a petition to the Ministry of Finance to raise it to ₹10 lakh has disappointed the Indian Federation of Teachers. He had called for the standard annual deduction for IT payers and teachers to be capped at ₹50,000.
The expansion of TV channels under the PM eVidya scheme will greatly benefit students whose learning has been challenged due to the pandemic, said SN Janardhanan, Chairman of Tamil Nadu Vocational Teachers Kazhagam.
An independent education consultant believes the proposed digital university would encourage students to learn outside of their curriculum. The decision to provide courses in regional languages is another welcome initiative. The pandemic has set families back but the government has made no mention of reducing the student loan burden, he said. Although the budget pushes for digital education, there is no mention of improving infrastructure for the same in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns and villages, he lamented.
R. Ganapathi, President of IIT Madras Entrepreneurs’ Forum while welcoming the measures announced for start-ups was disappointed that there was no announcement in the field of deep tech, which would allow India to establish itself as the next Silicon Valley.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned the contribution of the International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru’s research on mental health. TK Srikanth, head of the institute’s e-health research center, said the center had worked with NIMHANS, National Health Mission, on eManas, a first-of-its-kind software platform for mental health management. . The Karnataka government had deployed it and now monitors the district’s mental health program as well as psychiatric rehabilitation services. “As part of the tele-mental health network that NIMHANS will now help establish, the IIITB will help integrate eManas with tele-health services, providing a comprehensive platform for mental health care that can expand nationwide,” he explained.
Narayana Group of Institutions Chairman K. Puneet was hoping to learn more about the competitive framework for developing high-quality e-content. “A collaborative effort leveraging the strengths of government and the private education sector can move the country towards more equitable educational solutions,” he said.
Sathyan M., general secretary of the Association of Teachers of Polytechnic Colleges, said the budget had met skills needs in line with new Industry 4.0 standards. “The overhaul of the National Skills Qualifications Framework is the most welcome measure in the post-pandemic scenario,” he said.
“A dedicated DESH stack e-portal for skills, upskilling and reskilling to enable online training and certification will enhance learner skills opportunities and meet the needs of industries, especially the MSME segment . . The creation of a digital university would help the digital ecosystem to thrive,” he added.