New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first full-fledged budget of 2019 in Lok Sabha today. Nirmala Sitharaman laid the proposal for education and human resource sector.

She said that the government will bring in a New National Education Policy to transform India’s higher education system to one of the global best education systems.

In the new Policy, she proposed major changes in both school and higher education among others, better governance systems and a greater focus on research and innovation.

The government want to establish a National Research Foundation (NRF) to fund, coordinate and promote research in the country. NRF will assimilate the research grants being given by various Ministries independent of each other.

“We would work out a very progressive and research-oriented structure for NRF. The funds available with all Ministries will be integrated into NRF. This would be adequately supplemented with additional funds,” said Sitharaman.

Sitharam said that there was not a single Indian institution in the top 200 in the world university rankings five years back and due to concerted efforts by the institutions to boost their standards and also project their credentials better, now the country has three institutions – two IITs and IISc Bangalore – in the top 200 bracket.

“An amount of 400 crores has been provided under the head, ‘World Class Institutions’, for FY 2019-20, more than three times the revised estimates for the previous year,” said the Finance Minister.

She also proposed to start a programme, ‘Study in India’, that will focus on bringing foreign students to study in our higher educational institutions.

To prepare the youth to take up jobs overseas, the government will increase focus on skill sets needed abroad including language training.

“We will also lay focus on new-age skills like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, Big Data, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality and Robotics, which are valued highly both within and outside the country, and offer much higher remuneration,” she added during the speech.

Sitharaman also said that the government is proposing to streamline multiple labour laws into a set of four labour codes which will ensure that the process of registration and filing of returns will get standardized and streamlined.

The finance minister proposed to start a television programme within the DD bouquet of channels exclusively for start-ups.

“This shall serve as a platform for promoting start-ups, discussing issues affecting their growth, matchmaking with venture capitalists and for funding and tax planning. This channel shall be designed and executed by start-ups themselves,” she said.

The Banks will provide financial assistance for demand-based businesses, including for example for acquisition of scavenging machines and robots.