Union Budget 2021, which was presented on Monday by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, comprised of several announcements and allocations for various sectors, including education. The budget emphasised on the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 including the allocation of Rs 500 crore to the National Research Foundation. The budget 2021 also proposed setting up of over 15,000 model schools where NEP will be implemented first. Even the upcoming board exams were also talked about in the Budget.
After presenting Budget 2021, Sitharaman told media that the Centre will introduce reforms in CBSE board exams in a phased manner and the changes will be effective from the 2022-23 academic session. She added that exams will move away from rote-learning and students shall be tested on their conceptual clarity, analytical skills, and application of knowledge to real-life situations.
Now, there will be a complete shift from using assessments to not only judge the cognitive levels of the learner but also using it as an opportunity to identify the unique strengths and the potential of the child. A holistic progress card is envisaged to provide students with valuable information on their strengths, areas of interest, needed areas of focus to help the students make optimal career choices, the Finance Minister said.
The Budget 2021-22 allocated Rs 93,224 crore for the Ministry of Education out of which Rs 54,874 crore is for the Department of School Education and Literacy and Rs 38,350 crore for the Department of Higher Education.
The proposal made was, however, over 6 per cent lesser than that of the last year of Rs 99,312 crore which was later revised to Rs 85,089 crore.
This year, the CBSE board examination has been delayed and is now scheduled to be held in May. To reduce the burden of the CBSE board students, the syllabus has also been reduced by 30 per cent. This has been done keeping in mind the loss of the quality of education caused due to the Covid-19 pandemic.