Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has proposed various reforms for the education sector in the Union Budget 2017-18. The budget seems to focus more on higher education, secondary education, IT for learning purposes and skill based learning. The government wants to undertake, a new National Testing Agency will conduct all the examinations in higher examination, freeing Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) and other agencies.
Finance Minister has also said that a system of annual learning outcome in schools will be introduced. The government will also set up an innovation fund for secondary education. This fund is to ensure universal access, gender parity and quality improvement in the education.
The colleges will be identified based on accreditation and ranking and will be given autonomous status. A revised framework will be put in place for outcome-based accreditation and credit-based programmes said Jaitley in his speech. Two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Jharkhand and Gujarat are also proposed by the Union Budget 2017. Regarding other reforms in education sector Mr. Jaitley said that the government will undertake reforms in UGC same as the government will give autonomy to colleges and institutions.
Finance Minister said Information and Communications Technology (ICT) enabled learning will be included, transformation and the focus will be on 3,479 educationally backward blocks. He said that the government proposes to leverage information technology and launch SWAYAM Platform with at least 350 online courses which will enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty; access high quality reading resources, participate in discussion forums; take tests and earn academic grades. Access to SWAYAM would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.
Key points in Union Budget 2017 for education sector includes innovation Fund for secondary education to be created, a national agency to be instituted that will be in-charge of conducting all entrance exams for higher education, certain colleges and institutions to be identified and granted an autonomous status, two new AIIMS institute in Jharkhand and Gujarat and will take steps to increase post-graduate seats for medical sciences and a system of annual learning outcome in schools will be introduced.