The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will get largest chunk of loans on offer under Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE), new funding model scheme for those centrally-run institutes. This shifts funding mechanism to CFIs in higher education from grant assistance to loans to assure more funds, better accountability and timely completion of projects. Earlier, CFIs, on an average used to get fixed Budget grants of Rs 10,000 crore every year.The government is planning to boost the digital intensity in the education sector.
Jaitley said that technology is the biggest driver in improving the quality of education. He added, “Technology will be the biggest driver in enhancing quality of education. We propose to raise the digital intensity in education and move gradually from blackboard to digital board.”
A new scheme to identify bright students pursuing B.Tech in premier anatomist institutes, and providing them higher-education opportunities in IITs and IISc Bangalore. Here students will receive handsome fellowships, said FM Jaitley.
In addition to the above, the government by 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal people will have an ‘Ekalavya’ school at par with Navodaya Vidyalaya.
In the field of medical education, the FM Arun Jaitley announced that the government is planning to setup 24 new government medical colleges in the country. FM Jaitley while delivering the Budget said that the new medical institutes will be create by updating existing region hospitals, to ensure 1 medical college for every 3 parliamentary constituencies.
Financing minister Arun Jaitley said that education is a priority area for the government and allocated Rs85, 010 crore for the sector for the year starting 1 April.
The budget allocation for 2018-19 is, however, less than 4% higher than the revised budget estimate of the current year. The 2017-18 budget estimate had pegged an outlay of Rs79,685.95 crore, which was later revised to Rs81,868 crore.
The low hike in the education outlay was hinted at in the Economic Survey presented last month, which the federal government does not have much fiscal space to spend big on social sectors including education.
From a thematic perspective, the Union budget focused on two key areas of education-integration and fiscal accountability.
“We now propose to treat education holistically without segmentation from pre-nursery to Class XII,” the finance minister said in his budget conversation.
This may mean that the Union government is working to integrate the school education sector-from pre-school to Class XII-implying the merger of several school schemes in the near future.
“Holistic approach of school sector is a good move…on HEFA it would be interesting to see how they want to raise the fund. The capacity of academic establishments to repay loans (taken from HEFA) over a 10-season time horizon will be closely watched,” said Aurobindo Saxena, vice-president and head of education practice at consulting strong Technopak.
At this time HEFA is seeking to increase Rs20,000 crore and Thursday’s announcement hikes this amount to Rs1 trillion.
Even while the budget discussed establishing a string of special universities for tribal students, it slice the allocation for both its marquee school chains of Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.
In the mean time the budget has highlighted that the prevalent 3% education cess will be replaced with a 4% education and health cess. This can help the federal government garner Rs11,000 crore per annum from taxpayers.
RISE stands for Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education.The initiative aims to step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, including health institutions. It will have a total investment of ₹1,00,000-crore in the next four years.
The RISE scheme will be financed via a restructured advanced schooling financing agency (HEFA) that is functioning as a non-banking financial company. It aims to lend low-cost funds to federal government higher educational organizations.
India was ranked 47th out of 86 countries in Inclusive Internet Index (III) 2018 record. India has slipped by 11 positions compared to 36th rank in 2017 III survey due to low internet usage and poor quality.
The report was commissioned by Facebook in 2017 and is conducted with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). It provides rigorous benchmark of national-level Internet inclusion across four categories: Availability, Affordability, Relevance and Readiness. 2018 release of report has covered 91% of the world’s inhabitants and expanded data set of 86 countries, up from 75 countries in 2017.
India ranks 62nd in Availability, 39th in Affordability, 37th in Relevance and 23rd in Readiness, while Singapore, Canada, Poland and Malaysia hold top most rank in the respective categories.
The Inclusive Internet Index
Last year, India was positioned at 36 in the index.Categories: Business & Economy Current Affairs 2018.The Inclusive Internet Index, which has returned for its second calendar year, provides a rigorous standard of national-level Internet addition across four categories:
This category examines the quality and breadth of available infrastructure required for access and levels of Internet usage.
This category examines the price of access relative to income and the level of competition in the Internet marketplace.
This category examines the existence and extent of local language content and relevant content.
This category examines the capacity to access the Internet, including skills, cultural acceptance, and supporting policy.
“Connectivity gives people voice, and helps them find and share knowledge, strengthen their economies, and improve their communities. Bringing people online can offer life-changing opportunities, but there are still approximately 3.8 billion people without internet access. At Facebook, we’re working to change that,” Robert Pepper, Head of Global Connectivity Policy and Planning at Facebook said in a statement.
Compromised by low utilization and low quality, India is ranked 47th out of 86 countries when it comes to inclusive internet and connectivity for everyone, a Facebook survey said on Monday. Facebook, which commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to create a comprehensive “Inclusive Internet Index,” found India in the middle of Asian countries (12th out of 23) as it pertains to connectivity.
“India places at or near the top of the lower-middle-income bracket on most indicators, except for availability, where it is 13th away of 23, compromised by low use and poor quality despite relatively strong infrastructure,” the record said. The EIU is an English business within the Economist Group, providing forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis.
“Global connectivity has increased 8.3 percent and more people are connected than ever before. While this progress is encouraging, we are still far from achieving full Internet inclusivity,” Pepper added. Based on the index, the Internet is empowering, especially to citizens in Asia, the center East and Africa.
The common 4G coverage rate for low-income countries increased year-over-year from 9.1 percent to 17.3 percent. The cost of accessing the Internet is also falling. The expense of mobile broadband data plans in lower-income countries decreased about 17.3 percent from last year. Overall, however, people are still devoting too much of their cash flow on Internet access relative to their income level.
The gap is even larger in low-income countries, which have an average gender access gap of 80.2 percent compared with 3.7 percent among high-income countries,” said Molly Jackman, Public Plan Research Manager at Facebook. The index assessed a country’s Internet inclusion across four categories: availability, affordability, relevance and readiness.
The Economist Cleverness Unit (EIU)
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is a British business within the Economist Group providing forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis, such as monthly country reports, five-year country economic forecasts, country risk service reports, and industry reports.
The EIU provides country, industry, and management analysis worldwide and incorporates the former Business International Corporation, an UK company acquired by its parent company in 1986. The EIU has several offices across the globe including two offices in China and one in Hong Kong.