The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union budget 2022 but did that meet the expectation of the Ed-tech sector?
On Tuesday, February 01, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2022-23. The budget focused on digital and skill-based education. At her Union budget 2022 speech, the minister announced the setting up of a digital university for best-in-class education and expansion of a ‘one class one TV channel’ program under the PM e-Vidya scheme, among major announcements. But did the EdTech sector get everything from the Union Budget 2022?
Sitharaman said that a digital university will be established to provide access to students across the country for best-in-class universal education with a personalized learning experience at their doorstep. This will be made available in different Indian languages and ICT formats. The university will be built on a network hub and spoke model.
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Before the Union Budget 2022, the EdTech sector had so many expectations like:
Higher allocation of funds and tax reduction
The EdTech sector was expecting a higher allocation of funds for education and a reduction in taxation from the union budget 2022. Because, unlike traditional schools, emerging EdTech companies have to pay 18 per cent GST.
Ease of loans and finance procedures
EdTech startups give a boost to the Indian education system, due to which it was expected that the loan and finance procedures should be eased. Suggestion from the EdTech experts was that there should be provisions for collateral-free business loans with zero service charges to make it easy for newcomers.
Along with this, the Indian EdTech sector was also expecting enhanced attention towards welfare schemes, increased spending on R&D, and empowering marginalized groups through technology. But you don’t always get what you expect right? Here is what the Indian EdTech sector actually got from the Union Budget 2022:
Giving a boost to the Indian EdTech sector that has grown exponentially over the last two years, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced plans to launch a digital university, to be built on a hub and spoke model, to provide education in different Indian languages and formats.
Along with the digital university, FM Nirmala Sitharaman also mentioned the expansion of the PM eVidya one class-one TV Channel program from 12 to 200 TV channels. Sitharaman said that expansion of the eVidya scheme will enable all states to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1-12.
In 2022-23, 75 skilling e-labs for simulated learning environments will be set up to promote critical thinking skills over 750 virtual labs in science and mathematics, and content in all spoken languages will be developed for delivery via the internet, mobile phones, TV, and radio through digital teachers, said FM Nirmala Sitharaman.
High-quality e-content in all spoken languages will be developed for delivery via the internet, mobile phones, TV, and through radio and digital teachers. The competitive mechanism for the development of quality e-content by the teachers will be set up to empower and equip them with digital tools of teaching and facilitate better learning outcomes.
In conclusion, digital university and over 200 channels covering multiple regional languages under the ‘One Class-One Channel’ scheme are two very innovative and path-breaking initiatives announced by the FM Nirmala Sitharaman in the EdTech sector but still received a mixed reaction from the EdTech experts because Union Budget 2022 was not exacting what they were expecting.