National, January 25, 2022: The Government slashed its allocation towards education in the annual budget by 6% last year, amounting to a total allocation of Rs. 93,223 crores, against Rs. 99,311 crores in the year before that. This year, the education sector seeks higher allocation in the overall budget. With a considerable shift to virtual or online education models, ensuring access to better technology and improved e-Learning infrastructure should be prioritized to reduce the digital divide in smaller towns and cities.
As per All India Survey on Higher Education, the number of students entering higher education is at an all-time high (in 2019-20 the enrolment in higher education stood at 3.85 crore), and the outcome of these students’ success will be pivotal in determining not just their but also the country’s future. Thus, ensuring that quality education is accessible and affordable to these students should be a focus. Innovative Public Private bank partnership models where education subsidy is complemented/accompanies with subsidy on finance can help make this dream a reality.
Overall, we are hopeful that the government relaxes the education infrastructure loans and expands the income tax provision under Section 80C for deduction of education expenses.