Delhi Budget: ‘Govt spending on learning, schools will promote job creation’

The AAP government has made education its top priority by making the maximum allocation for this sector, finance minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio as well, said while presenting the Delhi budget for 2022-23.
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. (ANI)
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. (ANI)
Updated on Mar 27, 2022 04:28 AM IST
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BySadia Akhtar, New Delhi

The Delhi government on Saturday allocated 21.45% of its 75,800 crore budget for the next financial year for education, which stayed as the focal point for all the eight budgets in the past seven years of the Aam Aadmi Party’s rule in the national capital.

The AAP government has made education its top priority by making the maximum allocation for this sector, finance minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio as well, said while presenting the Delhi budget for 2022-23.

The state government proposes to spend Rs16,278 crore on education, including 14,412 crore under revenue and 1,866 crore under capital expenditure. This is marginally less than the allocation for 2021-22, when the government allocated 16,377, or 23.7% of the total budget of 69,000 crore, for education.

This year, the theme of the budget was rozgar (employment) and Sisodia, while laying emphasis on employment generation, outlined a number of new initiatives along with the expansion of existing programmes. The country would require 90 million new jobs by 2030, and this would need more job creators, he said.

“The biggest challenge will be creating these jobs. Who will give these jobs? I can’t talk about the rest of the country, but in Delhi, we have undertaken a unique initiative to create job creators and not job seekers while children are still in school,” said Sisodia, as he announced the extension of its Business Blasters programme to private schools.

Under the Business Blasters programme launched last year, students in classes 11 and 12 are mentored and provided financial capital of 2,000 as seed money to help finance their business ideas. It is a part of the Delhi government’s Entrepreneur Mindset Curriculum (EMC) for high school students.

“From the next financial year, the Business Blasters programme will be extended to private schools in the capital along with government schools so that students studying in both government and private schools can study with the mindset of becoming job creators over seekers,” said Sisodia.

The education minister also announced plans to set up a School Science Museum at Chirag Enclave to motivate children and teachers to develop a better understanding of those topics that often appear complicated when explained through books and videos. A sum of 50 crore has been allocated towards the proposed museum.

“The museum will allow children to easily understand complex topics. The museum will make children curious about science and encourage their interest in the field by clearing their fundamental concepts,” said Sisodia.

A boarding school for homeless children has been proposed with an allocation of 10 crore. While announcing the project, Sisodia said it was not possible to provide quality education unless basic facilities like food and shelter were guaranteed.

“Concerning the future of these underprivileged homeless children at an early age, the Delhi government has decided to set up a boarding school with modern facilities. These schools will also facilitate the children’s education and try to bring them into the mainstream of the society,” said Sisodia.

He also said that the Delhi government’s mindset curricula — Happiness Curriculum, Deshbhakti Curriculum and Entrepreneurship Curriculum — will be extended to private schools following demands from parents and teachers. Plans to convert all the classrooms of Delhi government schools into digital classrooms over the next four years and setting up for Montessori labs in 100 more schools were also announced.

Sisodia said that over 250 sports talents from across the country will be groomed in the Delhi Sports University.

The sustained focus of the government on entrepreneurship and its expansion to private schools was a welcome move, educationist Meeta Sengupta said.

“They are calling it entrepreneurship, but children are essentially being trained in basic life skills and foundational education. Extension of such initiatives to private schools is a good step even though many schools already have similar programmes,” Sengupta said. “This will also help bridge the gap between government and private schools.”

The government had expanded the number of higher technical education institutions in the past seven years with the addition of five new universities, Sisodia said in his speech.

The education minister also said that the intake of students in universities such as Delhi Technological University had gone up by a significant number. In 2014, 2,226 students were admitted in the technical varsity, while in 2020,the intake rose to 4,105.

Similarly, a total of 913 children were enrolled in Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology in 2014, but after the formation of Netaji Subhas University of Technology, 3,200 children were admitted in 2021.

Similarly, the number of seats in Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University increased from 28,000 seats in 2014 to 38,000 now.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022