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Union Budget 2023: What are the pre-budget expectations for the education sector?

The pre-union budget expectations for the education sector have been expressed by all strata of society- from citizens to policymakers and industry leaders. The government has been trying to improve access to and quality education, with the number of schools increasing steadily. The government has also been spending more on education as a proportion of total expenditure. All this is excellent news, but there is still room for improvement—and significant challenges that must be overcome. It will be interesting to see what measures are introduced in the upcoming budget to help accelerate future education reforms.

Previous Trends

As per research conducted by the best Boarding schools in India, during Covid-19, millions of students were affected by school closures at all levels. Many students were forced to drop out of school due to COVID-19, leading to a dramatic learning loss. It is evident from the Annual Status of Education Report- 2022. In recent years, the quality of education at all levels has declined.

It shows how the education system must be strengthened to meet NEP 2020 goals. But the Union budget budgetary allocation for the education sector has been declining for the past two consecutive years. A boost in allocation to the sector is needed to recover from the learning losses of the pandemic.

In the education sector, teacher training and adult education declined to 127 crores from 250 crores in the previous year. The government scheme of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) was allocated a higher Union budget. SSA is a government program that extends from preschool to class 12. It works toward providing equal opportunities and equitable learning outcomes leading to improvement in school effectiveness.

It subsumes the three schemes of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), and Teacher Education (TE). The scheme promotes steps in the following fields:

  • Universal access
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Gender and Equity
  • Inclusive Education
  • Quality
  • Digital Initiatives
  • RTE Entitlements include uniforms, textbooks
  • Pre-school Education
  • Vocational Education
  • Sports and Physical Education
  • Strengthening of Teacher Education and Training

The NEP 2023 is expected to bring about several significant changes across different levels of education, from school to higher education, which will require massive funding.


Increase in Union Budget Allocation for Education

The National Education Policy introduced in 2020 requires additional funds for the proper implementation of its rules. NEP brought a complete overhaul of the education industry. A higher budget allocation will bring about a smooth transition.

From technology-based learning and teacher training to upgrading the infrastructure of schools, a higher budget allocation is the need of the hour.

We can expect new measures supporting soft skills development such as funding for vocational training and scholarships. Inclusive education is one of the goals of the NEP. The infrastructure needed to include those deprived of quality education because of socio-economic reasons.

A higher allocation for teacher training and the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) can be expected.


Facilitating Public-Private Partnerships through tax incentives

Facilitating Public-Private Partnerships through tax incentives


According to the Top Schools in India, Legitimate tax benefits can be offered to encourage further upskilling of the workforce. One way to make upskilling a mainstream phenomenon would be to reduce the Goods and Services Tax on educational services from 18% to 5%. Granting applicants rebates and deductions for higher education can also be done.

Many students forgo pursuing higher education due to financial constraints. Affordable upskilling programs will push students to pursue higher education. India currently needs a skilled workforce. Scholarships and loan schemes can help achieve this objective.


Effective implementation of technology in the sector

 Use of technology for teacher training:

A fund dedicated to developing human resources in education can boost technological innovations in the field and raise overall educational quality. Online education and training for teachers should be encouraged and proper infrastructure should be provided for the same. Re-skilling and updating their knowledge base, especially in the technical education sector, can give students a leg up on the global competition.

EdTech platforms

Union budget 2023 for the EdTech industry and education sector. To prepare Indian youth for the digital transformation of their country, they need to be proficient in technical skills. The government is at the standpoint of digital transformation. Any step forward should be led by students adept in technology.

By offering students a range of technical training options, India will better prepare its young people for jobs in the growing economy. The government should also help upgrade teacher skills by providing them with up-to-date information on technology and computer literacy programs.

Skilling and Vocational Training

Compulsory vocational training in the senior school is a new addition to the National Education Policy. The government must take action to improve vocational training for students at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. Many schools lack the infrastructure to support vocational training. Government impetus is required in terms of financial support and trained professionals.

Vocational education will play an important part in Indian workforce development. Unlike higher-level knowledge, which requires a college degree or extensive training and experience, vocational skills are immediately applicable in the workplace and can be learned through shorter programs. With low costs and higher benefits, it is an ideal way to reap the fruits of the young population for economic growth.

Pre-primary education

The pre-primary education sector has been facing several challenges over the years. The government has already taken some initiatives to improve the quality of education in this segment. However, it needs to focus on several areas such as curriculum and teacher training.

To improve education in developing countries, we must provide schools with physical infrastructure and train teachers. The government of India’s recent New Education Policy emphasizes early childhood education, but its financial measures fall short.

The government needs to clearly define its policies for and investments in pre-primary education. It is expected that the government will propose a clear vision of how it plans to implement pre-primary education. A universalized scheme would help increase enrolment rates across different socio-economic strata.

Research and Development

It is expected to increase research funds and provide mobility for students through academic credit banks (banks, where credits earned may be applied toward another course) or credit transferals (offering opportunities to consolidate learning while benefiting from different perspectives).

To achieve its goal, the government should introduce incentives such as tax rebates and exemption from duties, etc., for private companies involved in research & development activities. It would encourage more private companies to invest in research & development activities. It will eventually lead to technological growth and advancement across manufacturing, agriculture, and other sectors. Creating an enabling environment for research and innovation in higher education institutions is also expected.



Education focused on economic opportunity and employability


Education focused on economic opportunity and employability


With graduates struggling with the job market and employers seeking skilled hires, supporting new ways of learning that combine education and work can give both learners and businesses a return on investment. These initiatives will raise the standard of education in India and produce more qualified workers.

The budget will also be an opportunity for the government to announce measures that would help improve employability and ensure they can compete with their global counterparts.



Impetus on foreign universities

Facilitating formal partnerships with eminent universities abroad to offer online and hybrid degree programs is relevant to consider this year. The country has also opened new avenues for foreign universities to open their campuses in India.

India has one of the largest populations in the world. There is a potential for growth in terms of student numbers. However, due to a lack of infrastructure and high cost, many students opt for private institutions instead of going abroad for higher studies. This trend can be reversed if the government introduces policies that facilitate collaborations between Indian universities and foreign universities offering distance learning programs (DSPs).

Girl child education

A lot of focus is given to improving girl child education in India. It is about time it was acknowledged by the government as well.


Education needs a boost in India. The sector is largely ignored by the government and private sectors alike. The quality of education has been on a sharp decline for years. It can be blamed on everything from the lack of infrastructure to shoddy teaching practices, but all in all, things do not look very good at this current time.

This Union budget would impen our education sector, so we will have to wait and watch what the Finance Minister has in store for us with his budget speech.

The education sector in India has seen phenomenal growth over the past few years. But there is still a long way to go before it becomes accessible to everyone.

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