Kerala has made big announcements for the state education sector in its annual budget 2021 including setting up of new universities and promoting research activities among the students. Kerala Finance Minister Isaac Thomas announced several schemes for the school students to help them in online education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with benefits for the schools and college students, new vacancies for teaching posts have also been announced that would finally benefit the research scholars, professionals and schools.
During the more than three-hour long budget speech, the Finance Minister allocated separate funds for building new universities and ensured help in online education.
Key promises made for the education sector during the annual budget are-
- Families below the poverty line will be provided with laptops at 25 percent subsidy and those who are classified as ‘financially vulnerable’ will get the laptops for free. This will be launched as part of the on-going laptop distribution project by the state government.
- 3.5 Lakh students will be getting access to digital study material to help them in preparing for the online exams and tests.
- Additional 30 centres of excellence will be created in the existing state-owned universities and some private universities to promote professional education among the students and increase interface with the industry experts.
- The state-affiliated colleges will be expanded to accommodate more students and study centres and for the same. The government has allocated Rs 1,000 Crores to build new centres inside the existing colleges.
- For the research students, new post-doctoral fellowships will be provided to help the PhD students in undertaking their research work and promote more students to work in this field.
A new medical college has been proposed in Wayanad for which Rs 300 Crores have been allocated. This will be a hospital-cum-college to help the MBBS aspirants get required knowledge and training at the same centre. It will also incorporate a new research centre to study genetic diseases including sickle-cell.
As part of the budget, the state Education Minister announced immediate filling up of 800 teaching-vacancies in the education sector and creating new job posts in the state-owned universities.
The overall state budget was focused upon creating jobs and expanding welfare schemes.