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RUSTOM KERAWALLA - accountability must

Pre-budget: Invest in education infra

COVID taught us to focus on digital network, highspeed Internet

BY RUSTOM KERAWALLA

Chairman, Ampersand Group

As the country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is hoped that the budget 2021-22 kick-starts the economy while boosting expenditure on education and healthcare infrastructure.

In this regard, the government could plan to forego fiscal restraints and increase capital expenditure in these particular sectors.

There should be transparency and accountability in every rupee spent on education and ensure equitable distribution of funds.

It is expected that the budget should look at boosting private investments and give a fillip to avenues of employment generation.

Focus should be on upgrading the basic infrastructure and digitalization of educational institutions, measures to encourage student retention, and comprehensive teacher training programmes to remain updated with global learning standards.

Positive learning from the pandemic indicates that there should be a significant allocation of funds to online education, affordable digital devices, and should be complemented with high-speed internet access to the remotest parts of India.

The budget should also look into resource building and improve the teacher-student ratio as nearly 250 million students are expected to enrol in schools by 2030 which would need 7.5 million highly trained teachers to address the massive student population.

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