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'Support blending of digital, traditional education'

Last Updated : 29 January 2022, 13:31 IST
Last Updated : 29 January 2022, 13:31 IST

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By Shashank Pandey, Co-founder, ConveGenius - a social edtech startup,

Building a solid digital education ecosystem that enables skilling is a sure-fire way to combat the current pandemic. The NEP-2020 initiated significant changes in the Education System of our country - it created a niche for EdTech, permitted flexibility in the learning curve, and emphasised blended learning. With the government’s numerous laudable steps to build an e-learning ecosystem, India still requires a lot to educate its youth, and the upcoming union budget may open doors to the facilitators working diligently to bring educational equity to this #NayaBharat. I hope the upcoming Union Budget would support the perfect blending of digital & traditional education and strive to encourage the adoption of emerging technologies. Moreover, the government should make more efforts to engage in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science training sessions at the grassroots level and build up capacities and acumen for new-age tech domains in educational institutions.

Another important aspect to be considered is improved internet connectivity infrastructure across the nation that promotes last-mile access, affordable 5G devices, and most importantly helps EdTech companies with strong data protection laws.

By Madhu Agrawal, Co-founder of Clever Harvey - a career exploration and acceleration startup,

The last two years of the pandemic have been full of ups and downs for many industries worldwide and needless to say, the education industry isn't spared either. While Edtech has seen a significant boom, there are factors that still need to be reconsidered by the Government of India in the upcoming Union Budget that can help boost the edtech industry which is the future of education.

According to us, one of the key areas of concern for all edtech companies is the disparity in the GST treatment of print educational solutions vs digital educational solutions. For example, a textbook is charged 5% GST whereas the same book in an online format is charged 18% GST. We've seen the potential of online educational material increasing access to education and the quality of education. We are expecting this GST should be reduced so that more people can invest in digital education. We hope that the Government of India reconsiders this in the upcoming budget announcement and builds a fair and equivalent system for offline as well as online education providers.

By Sakshi Vij, Founder, Myles Cars - a Car rental & Car subscription platform,

Honourable Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman should look at aggravating the domestic demand by further incentivising individual and commercial consumption of EV, pan India. The global pandemic has shown that the world wants an alternative for China in the processed goods industry. India must cash in on this opportunity by creating an EV-manufacturing hub. In Budget 2022, we expect the government to boost EV financing and introduce viable options for customers to use them. More EVs should be available in India through preferential taxation for imports. Moreover, there is a need for a simpler access window for startups that can easily solve sustainability and climate change goals with government and policy-making bodies.

By Uttam Kumar, Co-Founder & COO, HungerBox - India's First Institutional Foodtech Company,

The pandemic's impact has reverberated across domains impacting the overall economy, businesses across industries, and the startup sector. F&B has been particularly hard-hit, and the government has attempted to bring growth back.

Double taxation was a significant challenge for small food vendors, and the authorities have aimed to address this problem with the recent GST announcement. GST collections are likely to increase following this move. We believe this can be a game-changer for the sector. The government has undertaken a staged reduction of corporate tax. The government should accelerate this game plan.

We would like the government to simplify MSME loan disbursements. Currently, asset-intensive MSMEs tend to receive loans more quickly, while those in the service sector find the process challenging. In addition, to keep NPAs to a minimum, banks prefer MSMEs that are already profitable. This approach may be detrimental to spurring entrepreneurship. Banks should identify new loan criteria such as billings of the last three months and the ticket size of customer transactions. They should also not restrict loans to collateral value only. We are hopeful the upcoming union budget will address these policy changes to support the F&B sector.

By Ujjwal Singh, CEO and President, Infinity Learn,

To address the rising demand for digital learning, the EdTech industry has embraced new technology and resources. EdTech companies in India are creating effective solutions and serving as vehicles for socioeconomic development and transformation through innovation and scalable technology. The use of technology in education, or digitalisation, has aided the spread of quality education throughout the country, particularly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. EdTech companies have helped to democratise access to high-quality education and improve student engagement by using technology technologies. For its expansion, the industry is looking for government help. Ramping up of digital infrastructure is the top demand of the edtech sector. Because of infrastructure issues, cities in Tier 3 and Tier 4 struggled with online education.

We also expect the government to recognise Edtech as an industry group, allowing it to engage in decentralising learning at all levels and reconsidering the taxation of ESOPs. For a fair and equal system for offline and online education providers, the government should cut GST on online learning and materials. Infinity Learn by Sri Chaitanya believes in harnessing educational technologies to meet the country's ever-increasing demand for both online and offline, as well as collaborating with the government to reduce learning loss and develop a New India.

By Nitin Misra, Co-founder, indiagold,

With the government making progress on several fronts, we anticipate a policy framework in the budget that allows FinTechs to work closely with relevant government institutions to improve the distribution and adoption of existing gold monetisation schemes, as well as launch new products like the gold savings account. All compliances, including incorporation, GST, other taxes, EPFO, and other registrations, should be handled through a single window in India.

To stimulate entrepreneurship in India, the government should also allow entrepreneurs to carry forward their loss of income to offset against future income. Furthermore, reduced capital gains on mergers and acquisitions will help the sector grow.

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Published 29 January 2022, 13:31 IST

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