Prior to the presentation of the annual budget, based on wide-ranging consultations with the stakeholders in the field of education, including students, teachers and thinkers ABVP submitted Memorandum to Niramla Sitaraman, Finance Minister, Govt of India. Among other things, augmenting the education budget to the tune of 6% of India’s GDP, ensuring that budget allocation for the education sector is in accordance with the NEP guidelines, establishing the NEP-mandated National Research Foundation to oversee proper and equitable allocation of R&D budget, skilling and upskilling of the workforce, GST rebates in respect of education-enabling and education-facilitating articles, formulation of National Employment Policy, encouragement of transformative changes in agriculture constituted some of the major demands and suggestions enumerated in the memorandum.
ABVP, in its Memorandum to Finance Minister, has called for speedy recruitments to fill the existing job vacancies in education, constitution of a corpus fund for the implementation of NEP, timely increase in research grants and scholarships, equitable increment in scholarship amounts for students from reserved categories, increasing the number of students eligible for fellowship grants, easier and student-friendly processes for scholarship application, establishment of National Research Foundation, public digital libraries, promotion of digital literacy, empowering students to avail themselves of e-learning resources, GST rebates with respect to instruments used in scientific research and doing away with GST on hostel mess agreements.
Furthermore, ABVP has demanded the formulation of National Employment Policy, greater support for strengthening of the start-up and innovation ecosystem, entrepreneurship-friendly policies, right to quality healthcare, focus on agricultural education and accelerated modernisation of agriculture, additional teacher training institutes as well as special efforts aimed at preserving and promoting India’s traditional knowledge systems.
Nidhi Tripathi, National General Secretary, ABVP, said, “The changed circumstances and emerging challenges necessitate the introduction of a fresh and responsive education budget, capable of meeting the aspirations of the youth. Comprehensive reforms in education, skill development, employment and budgetary allocation for the education sector constituted some of the major student and youth-centric demands enumerated in our detailed memorandum presented to the Union Finance Minister. Most of our demands and suggestions correspond only to issues in the education sector. While ABVP is hopeful that the Union government will take cognizance of our demands, since education is a Concurrent List subject, it is also hoped that the state governments too will respond with alacrity to address the grievances of India’s many millions strong student community as soon as possible.”