Union Budget 2020: India’s top 100 institutes to start online UG degrees soon


The top 100 ranked institutes in India, as per the NIRF rankings, will be allowed to start a degree-level full fledged online course, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her budge speech. The minister also said that this will primarily be for the students who are coming from the deprived classes of society and have no access to higher education.

“In order to provide quality education to students of deprived classes of the society and those who have no access to higher education, this government proposes to start a degree-level full fledged online education programme. This will only be by insititues who hold the top 100 NIRF ranks,” says Sitharaman “Initially, only a few such institutes will be asked to start these courses,” she says. Hpowever, the minister did not mention if the courses will be free. Currently, some of the premium institutes in the country offer online certification courses.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman kicked off the Union Budget Session on February 1, 2020 at 11 am.

This budget is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second opportunity in seven months to refresh policy priorities to support an economy on a downward spiral. The Economic Survey that was released on January 31, a day before, projected India’s economic growth at 6 per cent to 6.5 per cent in the next financial year starting April 1, saying growth has bottomed out. The growth in 2020-21 compares to a projected 5 per cent expansion in 2019-20.

Weak global growth impacting India as well as investment slowdown due to financial sector issues had led to growth dropping to a decade low in current fiscal, said the survey, adding 5 per cent growth projected for 2019-20 is the lowest it could fall for now.

The survey that sets the premise of the Union Budget, said that along with efforts for generating additional employment, special focus has been on improving quality of jobs and formalisation of the economy. The share of regular wage or salaried employees has increased by 5 percentage points from 18 per cent in 2011-12 to 23 per cent in 2017-18. In absolute terms, there was a significant jump of around 2.62 crore new jobs with 1.21 crore in rural areas and 1.39 crore in urban areas in this category.

The survey also introduced Thalinomics to Indians — affordability of Thalis vis-à-vis a day’s pay of a worker, which has improved over time, indicating improved welfare of the common person. The survey stated that affordability of vegetarian Thalis improved 29 per cent from 2006-07 to 2019-20 while that for non-vegetarian Thalis by 18 per cent.