Union Budget: Pro-corporate and anti-people A budget to implement NEP-2020

Students Pledge News Dt 02.02.2022 – Responding to the Union Budget 2022-23, Sourav Ghosh, General Secretary, AIDSO stated:
“The education budget 2022-23 is nothing but a budget to implement highly criticized NEP-2020. Digitalisation is the key
focus of the government in the present budget which is a prime agenda of the NEP as well.
While recognizing about a loss of almost two years of study during the pandemic, this budget calls for expansion of “one
class – one TV channel” PM e-VIDYA programme from 12 to 200 TV channels. Keeping in mind, the already
experienced tragedy of depending on online education, during the entire lockdown period, is it really possible to
compensate the loss of two academic years by such digital methods?
The budget speaks about high-quality e-content in all spoken languages to be delivered via internet, mobile phones, TV
and radio, through digital teachers; It talks about digital university, setting up of 750 virtual labs in science and
mathematics and 75 skilling e-labs etc. Incidentally, in the Economic Survey tabled on Monday, the government said
that a stark digital divide had a “significant impact” on the education sector affecting lakhs of schools and colleges
across the country. Apart from the increasing digital divide, the country also saw an increase in school dropouts. Then,
who are going to be benifitted from this digitalization! As a matter of fact, the emphasis on digital mode of learning is a
design of the government to provide market to private players, as India is the second largest market of digital education.
This emphasis on digitalization will also tell upon the appointments of teachers as well as the academic environment in
campuses which will be made meaningless and pushed towards extinction.
While the budget allocation is far away from the 6% of GDP, an important recommendation of the educationists, it also
showed a massive cut from the National Scheme for Incentive to Girls, Padhna Likhna Abhiyaan and the mid-day meal
scheme. What is noteworthy is that in spite of allocating a budget, every year, a huge amount remains unutilised, which
is explicitly evident in the education sector in terms of it’s shabby infrastructure and basic facilities in institutions. Over
Rs 2.18 lakh crore, collected by the central government as cess for education, sanitation and infrastructure, has
remained un-utilised, according to a Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). So, what the government lacks, is
not funds, but pro-people will.
The FM, however, did not forget to promote foreign investment in education sector in the interest of the national and
multinational corporate sector and decided to allow the setting up of foreign universities in the Gujarat International
Finance Tec-City (GIFT city) to provide courses in financial management, fin-tech, mathematics, among others.
AIDSO recognises this budget as downright anti-student, pro-corporate and calls upon the student community of this
country to oppose this budget while building up a strong united movement against NEP-2020.”

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