Focus on Amrit Peedhi: Empowering Youth through Education and skills

A. Srija

The overarching theme of the Union Budget 2024-25 centers around transforming India into a developed nation, referred to as “Viksit Bharat,” by the year 2047. The budget places a special emphasis on the Amrit Peedhi-the youth-and highlights the significance of the National Education Policy 2020 in initiating transformative reforms to skillfully equip and empower the younger generation. In pursuit of this objective, considerable attention has been directed towards the PM Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI), designed to provide high-quality education, foster holistic development, and shape well-rounded individuals. Approved in September 2022, the PM SHRI scheme is designed to serve as a model for the effective implementation of the National Education Policy 2020. These schools are envisioned to evolve into exemplar institutions, setting a benchmark over time, while also assuming a leadership role by guiding other schools in their vicinity. The mandate extends to offering leadership in their respective regions, ensuring the provision of high-quality education within an environment that is equitable, inclusive, and imbued with joy. This educational approach caters to the diverse backgrounds, multilingual needs, and varying academic abilities of students, actively engaging them as participants in their own learning journey, aligning with the vision outlined in the NEP 2020.
The scheme provides for setting up of more than 14500 PM SHRI Schools by strengthening the existing schools from amongst schools managed by Central government/State/UT Government/local bodies. The first phase of selection process of PM-SHRI Schools has already been completed and a total number of 6,207 schools have been selected as PM-SHRI schools. A total of Rs. 3395.15 crore has been approved for 6,207 PM SHRI Schools in 27 States/UTs along with KVS/NVS in the Project Approval Board (PAB) Meeting for FY 2023-24. The 1st installment of Central share of Rs. 630.11 crore for FY 2023-24 has been released to all the States/UTs/KVS/NVS for implementation of the scheme. The Budget Estimates for FY 2023-24 has been revised from Rs.4000 crore to Rs.2800 crore. The Budget Estimates for FY 2024-25 is 6050 crore. Apart from PM-Shri, the total budget approved for the Department of School Education & literacy is Rs.73008.10 crores in 2024-25 as compared to Rs.72473.80 crores in 2023-24. (Table-1)

Table-1 Outlay for Major schemes in the Budget 2024-25 (Rs. In Crores)

The Budget also highlights the Skill India Mission through which 1.4 crore youth have been trained, 54 lakh youth have been upskilled and reskilled, and 3000 new ITIs have been established. A large number of new institutions of higher learning, namely 7 IITs, 16 IIITs, 7 IIMs, 15 AIIMS and 390 universities have been set up. Skilling of youth in the new age technology models will pave the way for new start-ups and entrepreneurship on the part of our youth. As the budget focuses on new avenues such as digital infrastructure, innovation, conference tourism, spiritual tourism, gati shakti, food processing etc., skill training emerging from the job profiles related to these upcoming sectors need to be focused upon in the curriculum for skill training in senior secondary schools as well as in ITIs.
The budget also highlights the increase in female enrolment in higher education by 28 percent over ten years. In STEM courses, girls and women constitute 43 per cent of enrolment – one of the highest in the world. All these measures are getting reflected in the increasing participation of women in workforce which is reflected in the increase in female participation rate in the labour force rising from 23.3 percent in 2017-18 to 37 percent in 2022-23. (PLFS). In short, for India to become Viksit Bharat by 2047 education and skilling of the youth is the foremost task, where our demographic advantage lies.

(The author is Economic Adviser, Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education).

editorial article
Comments (0)
Add Comment