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[Budget 2022] Finance Minister announces Digital University, PM eVidya scheme expansion

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced the establishment of a Digital University to provide education that will be built on a hub and spoke model. She also said that the ‘one-class, one-TV’ channel will be implemented to provide supplementary education to children to make up for the loss of formal education due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the 10th budget by the Modi government and the fourth budget by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Sitharaman further announced that the PM eVidya Scheme will be expanded from 12 channels to 200 channels to facilitate supplementary learning for all classes 1 to 12 in regional languages.

In addition, skilling programmes will be reoriented.

Addressing the Union Budget 2022, she said, “For skilling, upskilling and reskilling of our youth, Digital DESH e-portal will be launched.”

The FM also announced that five Centres of Excellence (COE) will be set up with an endowment fund of Rs. 250 crore each for Urban Planning courses that would assist in Urban Sector Development. Academic Institutes will be encouraged and supported for Research and Development within the ambit of Defence Budget, she informed.

The education sector has lots of expectations from this year’s budget, from increase in allocation to better digital infrastructure. Experts have also expressed hope that policy changes will be made to focus on longer term impact in the education sector.

The budgetary allocation for education in 2021 was Rs 6 crore lesser than that of 2020. With the prolonged effect of the pandemic necessitating renewed periods of e-learning, there is a pressing need to focus on nation-wide accessibility. 

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