Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a new education policy during the presentation of the 2019 Union Budget in the Parliament on 5 July. This was the first budget to be presented by a woman in the role of a full-time Finance Minister and a tide of reforms were announced in the educational sector.
Keeping the national educational policy in mind, the Finance Minister announced that the government will try to make the higher education system of the country to the best education system in the world which would include changes in the functioning of schools and colleges with more focus and attention on research and innovation. A National Research Foundation will be set up to fund, coordinate and promote research in educational institutions across the country. The body will also be responsible for allocating grants for the research and will be in charge of identifying thrust areas relevant to national interests and priority. Funds allocated to various institutions will also be integrated to the NRF in order to boost research in the country.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the open online courses through Swayam have bridged the gap for the illiterate and the poor to digital technology and education through digitized means. She further said that to upgrade the quality of teaching, the Gyaan scheme was started. A global pool of scientists will be created with major domains covering engineering and technology.
Ms. Sitharaman announced the intention of the government to make higher education institutions into centers of innovation. She stressed on the fact that five years ago, not a single Indian institution found a place in the top 100 rankings worldwide and that the efforts of the government in recent years has led to three institutions namely - two Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) appearing on the list of top 200 institutions in the world.
Further, Rs 400 crores will be allocated for the creation of world-class institutions in India, an amount that is three times higher than the estimated amount given in 2018. The government is thriving to make India the hub of higher education by introducing a new scheme - Study in India. The scheme will focus on bringing foreign students to India in order to boost the value of the education system n India and to make it renowned worldwide. The regulatory system for the higher educational institutions will see comprehensive reforms that will impact the autonomy and academic outcome positively.
The Khelo India scheme that was introduced two years ago, has created awareness of sports, expansion of the scheme and promote sports throughout the country. The government will be committed to further this scheme so that it's benefits are reaped by all parts of the country.