Aiming to improve the quality of education, the government will set up a higher education financing agency and allocated Rs 1,000 crore for the initiative.
The move was accompanied by a slew of measures in the education sector announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech. The move to set up world-class teaching institutions comes in wake of the ongoing controversy over some Jawaharlal Nehru University students facing charges of sedition.
Jaitley said regulatory architecture will be provided to 10 public and 10 private institutions to enable them become world-class centres of learning. In other terms, the government is looking to have India's own Ivy League.
FULL COVERAGE:Union Budget 2016
The government will give Rs 1,804 crore for setting up 1,500 multi-skill training institutes and develop country's own Ivy League.
"We have decided to set up a Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) with an initial capital base of `1,000 crore. The HEFA will be a not-forprofit organisation that will leverage funds from the market and supplement them with donations and CSR funds," Jaitley said in his budget speech. These funds will be used to finance improvement in infrastructure in our top institutions and will be serviced through internal accruals.
To help students, higher education institutions and employers to access degree certificates of candidates, Jaitley proposed to establish a digital depository for school leaving certificates, college degrees, academic awards and mark sheets, on the pattern of a securities depository. The finance minister stressed that it will help validate their authenticity, safe storage and easy retrieval Jaitley also announced opening of 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas in the remaining uncovered districts over the next two years.
"It is our commitment to empower higher educational institutions to help them become world class teaching and research institutions. An enabling regulatory architecture will be provided to ten public and ten private institutions to emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions.
This will enhance affordable access to high quality education for ordinary Indians. A detailed scheme will be formulated," he said. Jaitley earmarked a sum of Rs 1,700 crore for setting up 1,500 multiskill training institutes in the country and scaling up Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna.
"We have decided to set up a National Board for Skill Development Certification in partnership with the industry and academia. We propose to further scale up Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna to skill one crore youth over the next three years," the finance minister said.
Jaitley said entrepreneurship education and training will be provided in 2,200 colleges, 300 schools, 500 government ITIs and 50 vocational training centres through massive open online courses.
Aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those from remote parts of the country, will be connected to mentors and credit markets.
In order to spread literacy in rural sector he announced plans to launch a new digital literacy mission scheme for rural India to cover six-crore additional households within the next three years.
Announcing that the government approved the National Digital Literacy Mission and Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (Disha) to promote digital literacy, Jaitley said of the 168 million crore rural households across the country, 120 million did not have computers and were unlikely to have digitally literate persons.
"Details of the twin schemes will be spelt out separately," he added.