India is a treasure trove of inquisitive minds. With around 500 million of its citizens in the 5-24 year age bracket, the nation is home to the world’s largest population of the young. When such a huge expanse of its people is in a developing and growing phase of their lives, education has a huge role to play in there and the country’s growth.
When Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stepped into the Parliament to deliver her speech on Budget Day 2020, India’s young and learning youth had their hopes on her shoulder. And the government didn’t disappoint. Over the course of her detailed and strategic speech, Sitharaman outlined certain developments that hold great promise for India’s education sector.
The big news was – a massive allocation of INR 99,300 crores in the country’s educational development, INR 3000 crores allocated to skill developments and above all an ease of rules to facilitate foreign investment in India’s education sector.
So, what does the government’s decision towards supporting the influx of foreign investment signal for India’s education sector?
To begin with, it definitely holds immense potential for growth. The government’s new policy will open up India’s regulated education sector to global players. With an increasing requirement of quality education for its youth, the nation will now encourage Foreign Direct Investment and external commercial borrowings in education.
- According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, since the turn of the millennium till 2019, India has seen an influx of USD 2.47 billion into its education system. And the growth in those two decades has been clear for everyone to witness.
- With around 3900+ establishments, India leads the way in nations with most universities. The country is also amidst a rapid expansion in internet education.
- India currently stands just behind China, in its population with internet reach and usage of mobile phones. With the widespread use of the internet supporting the country’s educational pursuits, India also finds itself as one of the leading powerhouses of the e-learning industry.
And these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg, as to the potential that education in India holds. The India Brand Equity Foundation projected that by 2019 end, India’s education industry was set to be valued at over 100 billion US Dollars. Plus add to that a burgeoning population of youth in their school and college-going years, quality education is a primary need for the nation. And you can envision the expansion that’s required in our current education model and how the emergence of foreign players can support that.
Be it the Indian government signing a loan agreement with World Bank for the SANKALP (Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion) Project or state authorities like the Maharashtra International Education Board signing a partnership with Google, foreign investment has been trickling in steadily into the education ecosystem.
As a part of her Budget 2020 speech, Nirmala Sitharaman also highlighted the importance of foreign investment and talent coming into the Indian education sphere. She strengthened the government’s vision of making India an education destination for other countries, with the launch of the IND-SAT exam for Asia and Africa.
And as India opens its doors to the world’s best in education, the nation stands to nurture, hone and be home to an educated, skilled and ready bunch of bright minds for the future.