July 22, 2019
The Government will bring in a new National Education Policy to transform India’s higher education system
The ‘Study in India’ programme will focus on bringing foreign students to study in Indian higher educational institutions
Currently there are three Indian institutions among the top 200 university rankings, compared with none five years ago
The SWAYAM initiative, with its online open courses, has helped bridge the digital divide for disadvantaged students
The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2019-20, announced that an amount of over US$58 million has been provided for FY 2019-20 to create “World Class Institutions” in the field of education. This is more than three times the revised estimates for the previous year. She also asserted that the Government would bring in a new National Education Policy to transform India’s higher education system into a global frontrunner. The new policy proposes major changes in school and higher education, better governance systems, and brings a greater focus on research and innovation.
Smt Nirmala Sitharaman also reaffirmed commitment for ‘Study in India’, which focuses on bringing foreign students to study in Indian higher educational institutions. The programme aims to boost the number of inbound international students in India, doubling the nation’s market share of global education exports from less than 1 per cent to 2 per cent. The Finance Minister disclosed that a draft legislation for setting up Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) would be presented in the year ahead. This will help to comprehensively reform the regulatory system of higher education to promote greater autonomy and focus on better academic outcomes.
Highlighting recent achievements, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman pointed out that, thanks to concerted efforts by institutions to boost their standards and project their credentials better, there are now three Indian institutions (two IITs and IISc Bangalore) on the list of top 200 world university rankings, as compared to none five years ago. India has the third largest higher education system in the world and is behind only the USA and China.
Further, the Finance Minister said that the SWAYAM initiative, with its vast offering of online courses, has helped bridge the digital divide for disadvantaged sections of the student community. To upgrade the quality of teaching, the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) programme in higher education was started, aimed at tapping the global pool of scientists and researchers, she explained. The IMPRINT (IMPacting Research Innovation and Technology) scheme began as a pan-IIT and IISc joint initiative to develop a roadmap for research to solve major engineering and technology challenges. It is because of this that higher educational institutions are now becoming centres of innovation, the Finance Minister said.