Kids on the way back from school in Theog constituency in Himachal Pradesh. (Photo: Aishwarya S Iyer/The Quint)

Union Budget 2018: Rs 1 Lakh Crore Allocated For Education Infrastructure

  • To initiate integrated B.Ed programme for teachers.
  • Digital intensity in education to be increased.
  • Amended RTE Act to train 13 lakh teachers.
  • To set up Ekalavya Schools for scheduled tribes.

The government will allocate Rs 1 lakh crore to update the education infrastructure across the country, over the next four years, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in the Union Budget 2018 speech today.

The Centre is committed to educating India’s children, Jaitley said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always emphasised that the country’s future depends on its children. The government will also work on training teachers and increasing the number of schools for tribal children, he added.

“By 2022, every block with more than 50 percent Scheduled Tribe population and at least 20,000 tribal people will have Ekalavya schools at par with Navodaya Vidayalas,” Jaitley said. These schools will compliment the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University established under the Central Universities Act by the Congress UPA government in 2008-09. Around 13 lakh teachers will be trained under the amended Right to Education Act.

The Centre will increase the intensity of digitisation in the education sector, Jaitley said, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India vision. The “digital impetus bodes well for the education sector”, CL Educate Ltd. said in an emailed statement to BloombergQuint.

The budget also proposed higher concentration on issues such as health, agriculture support, education, infrastructure and bettering the lives of senior citizens, the finance minister said at the beginning of his speech.

This will add to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao’ scheme, which concentrates on educating the girl child. Other existing school-level schemes include the Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan for high school education.